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Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Happy February! February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) which means it’s a great time to focus on raising awareness of issues and resources, as well as promoting healthy relationship behaviors.

Some things to think about in your own friendships and relationships:

  • Respect: Do I feel respected? Are my friends, family, and partner able to respect my opinions and preferences even when they feel differently than I do?
  • Support: Do the people in my life cheer me on in my goals, commitments, and self-expression?
  • Healthy Communication: Do I feel listened to? Am I able to talk freely about my emotions? Can the people in my life respond to me calmly?
  • Trust: Do I feel trusted? Can I make my own decisions and have free time when necessary?
  • Safe: Can I feel safe and comfortable in my home? What about friends’ and family members’ homes? At work or school?
  • Emotions: Check in with your emotions – do you generally feel happy and comfortable around the people in your life? Or do you feel stressed, nervous, or scared around certain people?

What next?

  • After you ask yourself the above questions, ask yourself if you do all those things for your loved ones as well.
  • Make sure you feel safe and comfortable by creating a safety plan. Find some examples at LoveIsRespect https://www.loveisrespect.org/get-help/interactive-safety-plan/
  • Make sure you have a support network. Think about or list all the people in your life you can go to if you need to talk or feel supported. Brainstorm who you would choose to talk to in different situations.
  • Know your resources: Research local agencies, support services, and help lines. Get started at www.ysnmn.org 
  • Celebrate what is healthy! Embrace what is going well in your life, and acknowledge the friendships and relationships that feel strong, comfortable, and healthy. You deserve it!