February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM)! TDVAM is a national effort to raise awareness of dating violence among teens and youth adults. Nationally, 1 in 3 youth experience dating violence from a current or former dating partner. With youth experiencing violence at a higher rate than adults, it is important to take this month, and every month, to recognize this issue affecting our youth.
WHBW does a lot of work with youth in our community! We have a youth advocate on staff to provide emotional support, crisis intervention, information and referral, and system’s advocacy to youth (13-24) who have been exposed to intimate partner violence or experienced intimate partner violence personally. Services include meeting one on one to discuss healthy and unhealthy relationships and ways to navigate conflict safely in their personal relationships, assisting with youth who wish to apply for a Relief from Abuse order, providing support for youth who are navigating new or challenging educational institutions due to the violence witnessed or experienced, connecting youth with medical and mental health services, and housing advocacy for homeless or at-risk youth.
WHBW also provides prevention education to youth at Chittenden County high schools. Prevention activities include workshops on the topics of gender, power and privilege, teen dating violence and consent, and bystander intervention. Each year the WHBW Education and Prevention Coordinator visits Chittenden County high school health classes to deliver this prevention education youth as a way to change attitudes, increase knowledge and awareness, and build capacity for intervening when they witness negative behaviors.
Only 33% of teens who are in a violent relationship ever tell anyone about the abuse.
Follow WHBW’s Facebook and Twitter accounts all month long for more information about dating violence as well as resources for supporting the youth in your life who may be experiencing violence. Follow the National conversation with #teenDVmonth.
Together, we can build a community of support where youth feel safe and comfortable reaching out for help!
For more information on WHBW’s work with youth, or to speak to our youth advocate, contact Emily at 802-658-3131 ext . 1067.