It’s National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and Hope Shores Alliance is trying to make a difference within the local schools.
Let’s take a deeper look into this issue.
February is the first National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Dating violence is described as patterns of control, violent behaviors, and more.
Hope Shores Alliance Executive Director, Katy Conklin said that teens and adults must first know the elements of control.
“Frequent texting, not clear boundaries, not getting consent to receive or say sexual assault, if they’re sexually active. It can involve sexual assault, it can involve domestic violence, and intimate partner violence it can involve stocking, and it happens in the schools, it happens online, it happens on Facebook, Instagram, all the other applications that are out there. We just want teens to be aware of what are healthy relationships,” Conklin said.
The nature of dating violence can be physical, emotional, or sexual. Conklin said she hopes that this subject can be added within school curriculums so that more people become aware of this issue.
“We do go into schools, and we do healthy relationship trainings and we do, do trainings on this and awareness for the schools. However I would like to see that built right into the public school curriculum, and make that a mandatory thing for students to learn about that,” she added.
Statistics show that 1 in every 5 teens who have been in a serious relationship have been hit, slapped or pushed by their partner, and the numbers are more likely higher but teens usually are afraid to come forth and tell someone.
“1.5 million high school students in the nation have been physically abused some sort of way. That could be hitting, slapping, stalking, pushing, and shoving including sexual abuse. 1 in 10 students have been abused by a boyfriend or girlfriend partner, and only 33% of them tell someone,” Conklin said.
Teens that may be affected by dating violence seem to have many signs.
“They might miss school, there’s going to be an increase in absentees, you might notice their grades dropping, more isolation, and not wanting to talk,” she explained.
Conklin said if you are someone you know is suffering from violence do not hesitate to tell someone.
For WBKB News in Alpena, I’m Star Connor.