What does Teen Dating Violence look like?
The butterflies, the uncertainty, the newness of your first real relationship is a universal experience. For some teens, their first relationship is a chance to explore what it really means to be vulnerable with someone and, in turn, intimately know that person. For others, it’s a shot in the dark at romance that ends in a fizzle or boom which they learn and move on from. Unfortunately, for as much as 10% of teens, it can be violent, degrading, and traumatic. February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Knowing what shape this violence can take in our youth is one step towards preventing it.
Some common characteristics of a violent, unhealthy teen relationship include:
- Excessive jealousy and anger
- Extreme moodiness
- Pressure to engage in unwanted sexual activity
- Controlling behaviors
- Verbal abuse
Preventing and addressing teen dating violence in our community is crucial to our mission of seeing a world free from sexual and domestic violence.
This infographic from the CDC demonstrates how teaching youth about healthy relationships skills early on in life translates into safer, healthier communities for everyone in the future.
What does Turning Pointe do to help?
Prevention: We are dedicated to going out into our communities and talking with both educators and youth about what healthy and unhealthy relationships look like in order to protect current survivors and, hopefully, prevent future violence. Teaching classes, hosting events, and holding presentations and trainings are just a few of the ways we aim to create a violence-free future for Mason County and beyond. We have two events coming up for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month 2022! Check them out on our Facebook.
Support for survivors: We serve youth! Anybody, regardless of their age, can be set up as a client with Turning Pointe to access our services. For youth specifically, these include:
- Crisis intervention – support immediately after a trauma by phone or in person
- Educational advocacy – meeting regularly with our skilled youth advocates to process and grow in a safe space
- Legal help – helping survivors find the resources they need to navigate the legal system
- Safety planning – providing well-informed plans for escaping a dangerous situation
Click here to visit our youth advocacy page and find out more about the group programs we also offer!
Important note: the age of consent in Washington is 13. For potential clients, this just means that if you are 13 or older, you can get set up as a client without any parent or guardian present. If the client falls under the age of 13, they have to have an adult with them at first. However, all our clients are granted confidentiality.