February is teen dating violence awareness month.
KMVT spoke with Voices Against Violence to see what parents and teens need to know.
“Often times, a lot of the teens aren’t aware that they’re even in a toxic relationship,” Noemi Juarez, the education and outreach coordinator at Voices Against Violence continued “In the 2019 youth risk behavior survey, the results show that 33 percent of females and 17 percent of males were purposely controlled or emotionally hurt by a dating partner. So it does happen very frequently.”
There are things to look out for.
“There’s a lot of manipulation, a lot of isolation, a lot of verbal abuse. And then you know, it could even be a combination of the physical abuse as well too, with the emotional and verbal abuse there,” Juarez stated.
Parents need to talk to their teens.
“I know sometimes it’s hard to talk to our teens and our youth about dating partners and things that might be going on, but creating that safe space so your teens feel comfortable enough to come to you or even come to a counselor at school,” Juarez said.
As well as keep an eye on what apps they use explains Juarez.
“I always tell the community that, you know, be aware of the type of apps that are out there. So Snapchat, TikTok, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, there’s so many now and so it’s really important to just keeping an eye and making sure that you know, your teens are using those appropriately,” Juarex explained.
And, finding someone you can talk to.
“Seeing out somebody, an adult, to talk about those issues. And then you know, our agency, we’re here to listen and we’re here to kind of guide, and just provide resources. Often times teens, a lot of youth, don’t want to seek charges, or even family might not want to either, so we suggest finding a resource like our agency to come and talk to and figure out what the options are,” Juarez said.