February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

by USAG Ansbach Family Advocacy Program

ANSBACH, Germany (Feb. 3, 2020) — U. S. Army Garrison (USAG) Ansbach Army Community Service (ACS) will promote awareness of Teen Dating Violence (TDV) during the month of February.

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month is a national effort to raise awareness and protect teens from violence.

This year’s theme is “#1THING.” By learning one thing about teen dating violence and sharing that with a friend, every teen can make a difference. Everyone has a part in ending dating violence.

“We have a responsibility to ensure dating violence is never tolerated in our community,” said Jane Craig, Family Advocacy Program victim advocate.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TDV is a type of intimate partner violence, and occurs between two people in a close relationship. TDV can be physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological actions as well as threats of action that influence another person.  Although some middle school children are not teenagers yet, if they are in a relationship they can be affected by TDV.

TDV includes four types of behavior:

  • Physical violence is when a person hurts or tries to hurt a partner by hitting, kicking, or using another type of physical force.
  • Sexual violence is forcing or attempting to force a partner to take part in a sex act, sexual touching, or a non-physical sexual event (e.g., sexting) when the partner does not or cannot consent.
  • Psychological aggression is the use of verbal and non-verbal communication with the intent to harm another person mentally or emotionally and/or exert control over another person.
  • Stalking is a pattern of repeated, unwanted attention and contact by a partner that causes fear or concern for one’s own safety or the safety of someone close to the victim.

“Nationwide, teens ages 12 to 19 experience the highest rates of rape and sexual assault,” said LaSundra Hursey, FAP manager. “TDV impacts everyone, not just teens – but their parents, teachers, friends, and communities.”

One in 10 Girls and one in 11 teen boys admits to having experienced physical violence in a dating relationship in the past year.

One in five tweens ages 13 and 14 who have been in a relationship say they know someone who has been physically assaulted or hurt by a dating partner.

One in 5 teens admits to being emotionally abused in the past year.

Seventy percent of teen girls who have been sexually assaulted knew their attacker. The attacker was a friend, boyfriend, or casual acquaintance.

Whether physical or emotional, TDV can leave scars that last a lifetime, and can cause issues at school, an increase in depression, and drug or alcohol use. Victims are also at greater risk of experiencing the same patterns of violence later in life.

Information will be available throughout the month at ACS. For additional information, contact Jane Craig at jane.a.craig.ctr@mail.mil, DSN: (314) 467-3660 CIV: 09802-83-3660 or Lasundra Hursey FAP-M at lasundra.w.hursey.civ@mail.mil, DSN: 467-2516 CIV: 09802-83-2516.

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