February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. According to the National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women, nearly 50% of women and 40% of men who are victims of relationship violence experience it for the first time between the ages of 18 and 24. Also, 57% of victims report that it is difficult to identify dating violence. Among teens excessive texting, jealous and/or controlling behavior, sexting and social media involvement are all behaviors that can lead to dating violence. Shelly Whale with Heart of Grant County goes over some healthy relationship behaviors for teens:
“If you’re looking for healthy relationship qualities, you know, most of everything needs to be mutual. You mutually need to respect one another, mutually trust each other.
Clearly, both of you should not use violence. Have equal self-esteem, and always have open communication on both sides. Each of you be accountable and responsible for your actions, and they should always have the freedom to continue friendships that they’ve had prior to a relationship.”
Anyone who feels they are a victim of dating violence, regardless of age, is encouraged to call Heart of Grant County’s 24-hour hotline at 541-620-1342.