Tennessee Department of Health Recognizes Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month


Everyone deserves a healthy relationship based on trust, honesty, respect, equality and compromise. Youth and young adults need to be guided and trained to build healthy relationships and identify unhealthy relationships. In February, the Tennessee Department of Health participates in Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month to help prevent and educate Tennessee teens about dating violence.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly one in 11 high school students and one in 14 high school students said they had experienced physical dating violence in the past year. Twenty-six percent of women and 15 percent of men who report having experienced physical abuse, sexual abuse or harassment by a dating partner first experienced dating violence by that partner before the age of 18 years old. In addition, certain groups such as sexual minorities and racial and ethnic minorities are often disproportionately affected by dating violence.

Teen dating violence occurs when partners engage in abusive behavior to control or manipulate others. It can take place in person, online or through technology. Teen dating violence can include the following types of behavior:
• Physical violence, such as hitting, kicking or any other form of physical force
• Sexual violence, such as unwanted kissing, fondling, or forced sexual activity
• Harassment, which is repeated and unwanted attention and contact that causes fear or concern for
his safety
• Psychological aggression, which is the use of verbal and non-verbal communication (eg, name-calling,
insults or threats) with the intent to harm a partner mentally or emotionally and/or
exercise control over a partner

For more information on recognizing the signs of abuse, please visit https://ncadv.org/signs-of abuse.

“Teen dating violence impacts the overall well-being of adolescents,” said Renea Satterwhite, director of Tennessee’s Rape Prevention and Education Program. “Upstream approaches to preventing teen dating violence involve teaching young people about healthy relationships and creating safe and protective environments.”

During Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, individuals are encouraged to wear orange for love on Tuesday, February 8. By wearing orange and sharing a photo on social media with the hashtag #Orange4Love, Tennesseans can send a message that they stand with survivors of teenage dating. violence. Additionally, the Tennessee State Capitol will be illuminated orange in honor of the day. For more information on this celebration, please visit
https://www.centerffs.org/serv/events/wear-orange-4-love day.

TDH’s Rape Prevention and Education Program provides training and support to community organizations, schools, and sports teams to implement evidence-based prevention programs. Learn more about https://www.tn.gov/health/health-program-sectors/fhw/rwh/rape-prevention-and-education.html.

If you are a survivor of sexual violence, you can find help and support in Tennessee at https://tncoalition.org/get-help/help-in-your-region/ or call the statewide Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-866-811-7473.

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote, and enhance the health and prosperity of the people of Tennessee. To learn more about TDH’s services and programs, visit www.tn.gov/health.


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