One in three teens will experience dating violence before they become adults (LoveIsRespect.org). Teens who experience emotional, physical, or sexual abuse are more likely to have unhealthy relationships in adulthood. Center for Community Solutions (CCS) wants to remind you that preventing abuse and assault is possible, but it is critical that we begin conversations with the youth in our lives. February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month so what better time than right around Valentine’s Day to start the conversation about healthy relationships!
A lot of unhealthy relationship behaviors are glamorized in movies and television shows. Consider having a conversation after watching a show together. An example conversation starter could be “I noticed that the couple in that show only spent time together and never with other friends. Do you think that is a healthy relationship? What does a healthy relationship look like to you?” If you would like examples and breakdowns on relationships in media check out the HOT Takes on the CCS Prevention Education Team’s Instagram @ccs_prevents.
As you talk about characteristics of unhealthy relationships, also remind them of the ingredients for a healthy relationship – C.H.A.R.M.
Relationships that do not have CHARM are not necessarily abusive, however they may be somewhat unhealthy. Abuse is based on power and control; health is based on equality and respect.
February 6 – 10 is CCS’ Teen Dating Violence Awareness Week of Action. Stay tuned on social media (Instagram: @ccs_prevents & @ccs_sd) for activities to engage youth in conversations about healthy relationships! At Center for Community Solutions, our Prevention Education Team provides a four-unit healthy relationship series for youth. Please visit ccssd.org/education-outreach or email email@example.com for more information.