TDV 2017

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Southwest Iowa Families wants you to know that there’s a lot you can do as a parent to prevent teen dating violence and abuse.

Every year, approximately 1.5 million high school students nationwide (more than 1 in 10) experience physical abuse from a dating partner. It is also known that 3 in 4 parents have never talked to their children about domestic violence. In light of these alarming facts, every year during the month of February advocates join efforts to raise awareness about dating violence, highlight promising practices, and encourage communities to get involved.

Teen dating violence (TDV) is defined as a pattern of abuse or threat of abuse against teenaged dating partners, occurring in different forms, including verbal, emotional, physical, sexual and digital. TDV occurs across diverse groups and cultures.

Although the dynamics of TDV are similar to adult domestic violence, the forms and experience of TDV, as well as the challenges in seeking and providing services, make the problem of TDV unique.

There are many resources available to provide information and support to victims and assist service providers and communities to decrease the prevalence of dating violence among young people. Anyone can make this happen by learning about Teen Dating Violence, and raising awareness about the issue, saying something about abuse when you see signs of it.

Be a role model – treat your kids and others with respect.

Start talking to your kids about healthy relationships early – before they start dating.

Get involved with efforts to prevent dating violence at your teen’s school.

National Dating Abuse Helpline – This hotline provides 24-hour national web-based and telephone resources to help teens experiencing dating abuse. Young people (as well as concerned friends, parents, teachers, clergy, law enforcement and service providers) anywhere in the country can call toll free, 1-866-331-9474, text “loveis” to 22522, or log on to the interactive website,, and receive immediate, confidential assistance..

You can help keep your loved ones stay safe and healthy.

Teresa Kanning, LBSW – Southwest Iowa’s 4th Judicial District Iowa Domestic Abuse Program Coordinator.

Southwest Iowa Families, Inc. – Enhancing the lives of children and their Families in Southwest Iowa

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