February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month!

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. While this is something that is 24/7/365 for the Relationship Abuse Prevention Program, it does provide a nice platform to further engage the Truman community. Here are some statistics, from LoveIsRespect.org –

Too Common

  • Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
  • One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.
  • One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Why Focus on Young People?

  • Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average.
  • Among female victims of intimate partner violence, 94% of those age 16-19 and 70% of those age 20-24 were victimized by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18.
  • The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.

Don’t Forget About College Students

  • Nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors.
  • College students are not equipped to deal with dating abuse – 57% say it is difficult to identify and 58% say they don’t know how to help someone who’s experiencing it.
  • One in three (36%) dating college students has given a dating partner their computer, online access, email or social network passwords and these students are more likely to experience digital dating abuse.
  • One in six (16%) college women has been sexually abused in a dating relationship.

Long-lasting Effects

  • Violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence.
  • Being physically or sexually abused makes teen girls six times more likely to become pregnant and twice as likely to get a STI.
  • Half of youth who have been victims of both dating violence and rape attempt suicide, compared to 12.5% of non-abused girls and 5.4% of non-abused boys.

Lack of Awareness

  • Only 33% of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse.
  • Eighty-one (81) percent of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue.
  • Though 82% of parents feel confident that they could recognize the signs if their child was experiencing dating abuse, a majority of parents (58%) could not correctly identify all the warning signs of abuse.

Join RAPP as we participate in an array of campaigns for Respect Week 2018, including –

  • wear #Orange4Love on Tuesday February 13th
  • wear RED for #1BillionRising #Solidarity on Wednesday February 14th
  • wear your #Pride on Thursday February 15th. RAPP Peer Leaders, GSA members, and staff advisors for GSA, please wear your Truman GSA shirt!

PARENTS – please refer to the guide below, from Break The Cycle, encouraging you to have dinner table conversations about teen dating, even if they’re not dating!

  • Are any of your friends dating? What are their relationships like? What would you want in a relationship?
  • Have you witnessed dating violence at school or among friends? How does it make you feel? Were you scared?
  • Do you know what you would do if you witnessed or experienced abuse?
  • Has anyone you know posted anything bad about a friend online? What happened


  • Would it be weird if someone you were dating texted you all day to ask you what you’re doing?

STAFF – if you’d like to reach out for a RAPP workshop, or are just interested in information or flyers, please reach out to your RAPP Coordinator. Room 425-A. Extension 64253


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