NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in Tennessee, and the Department of Health aims to help young people learn about building healthy relationships as a way to prevent violence.
The Tenn. Dept. of Health said teen dating violence is a widespread issue across Tennessee. “We are determined to end teen dating violence and want to stress the importance of talking with your pre-teen or teenager about why healthy relationships are important," said Assistant Commissioner for Family Health and Wellness, Morgan McDonald, in a press release.
According to state officials, signs of abuse in a teen relationship include:
• Name calling; extreme jealousy; threatening to hurt the partner, family or him or herself
• Shoving, punching, slapping, pinching, hitting, kicking, hair pulling and/or strangling
• Unwanted touching and kissing
• Forced sex or sexual acts
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports one in nearly nine female teenagers and one in 13 male teenagers reported having experienced dating violence in the past year.
The state offers prevention programs that schools and organizations can take advantage of year-round. Click here to find those resources.
If you need help or know someone who does, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.