Five things we can all do today to prevent dating violence
The following article is part one of a four-week series focusing on raising awareness about dating violence. February is Dating Violence Awareness month, and we hope to educate our community on this very important issue. 1 in 3 young people will experience dating violence in their lifetime. Locally, the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center has been serving victims of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and child abuse since 1978. Last year, HCWC served 2,055 victims of abuse (face-to-face) primarily from Hays and Caldwell Counties.
February is Dating Violence Awareness Month, a national effort to raise awareness about the impacts of dating abuse and encourage communities to support teens and young adults in seeking healthy relationships. Though these conversations are important to have year-round, February gives us the opportunity to shine a light on dating abuse and inspire conversations about healthy relationships in order to stop violence before it starts.
One-in-three young people will experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with. Everyone deserves a healthy relationship. Here are five ways you can take action to prevent dating violence and promote healthy relationships this February:
•Participate in Wear Orange Day on Tuesday, Feb. 8 to raise awareness about dating violence and promote healthy relationships. Post a picture of you in your orange on social media and include statistics, relationship red flags and green flags, or finish the statement “I Wear Orange Because…” to share with others why raising awareness about dating violence is important.
•Take the #WhatAboutLove pledge (stopthehurt.org/pledge) to end dating violence. Share the pledge on social media to encourage other to do the same. Don’t forget to use #WhatAboutLove and #StopTheHurt!
•Download Stop the Hurt’s Dating Violence Awareness Month Take Action! Toolkit (stopthehurt. org/resources) to empower teens and young adults to raise awareness about dating violence and promote healthy relationships. Toolkit includes social media posts, activities, school resources, and more.
•Spread awareness about relationship abuse. Have conversations about healthy and unhealthy behaviors in relationships, share resources, empower teens and young adults with information to build healthier relationships. Let others know that everyone deserves safe, healthy, happy relationships.
•Donate to or volunteer at your local crisis center or domestic violence shelter (hcwc.org) to support survivors of abuse.
Everyone has a part in ending dating abuse. We recognize that while love has many definitions, abuse should never be one of them. Make the commitment to practice healthy love and encourage others to do the same.
We are committed to providing free, safe and confidential services to victims of dating violence. If you are experiencing dating violence, please call our HELP-Line 24/7 at 512-396-4357. HCWC’s Counseling & Resource Center has a counselor specifically focused on Dating Violence and our Prevention Educators are available to presentations and education about dating violence. Learn more at stopthehurt.org