There are a few things that you can do to help stop teen dating violence in your community. Learning to be an active bystander, helping advocate for training for your school, or starting a public awareness campaign are all ways to help raise awareness about this serious issue.
Bystander intervention is an invaluable tool in the fight against teen dating violence, but many people will not intervene if they do not know the right way to go about it or when to get involved. If you witness dating violence, you can be an active bystander whether you know the people involved or not. You have the power to stop incidents of abuse by: gathering a group to talk to the abuser, creating a distraction, speaking up and letting the abuser know their actions are not ok, telling a trusted adult about what you saw, or calling the police. While calling 911 can be overwhelming, it’s important to involve the police if you feel your or someone else’s safety has been threatened or is in danger. Even if you feel it is not your place to get involved, remember that dating abuse is not a personal problem; it is a serious crime that affects us all. For more information on how you can be an active bystander visit: Respect Love or Stop Abuse.
Prevention and Education
There are many ways you can work toward ending dating violence in your community. One way is to become an ally for victims of dating violence through bystander intervention. Another way is to raise awareness of dating violence. There are many campaigns you can become involved in and bring to your school, church, or community. You can print free posters from the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and use them to start a conversation about healthy relationships.
Training Programs for your Community
For information on dating violence training that may be available in your area, contact your local Domestic Violence Program. If you’re in New York City, Day One may be able to provide training at your request.
Public Awareness Campaigns
Some public awareness events you may want to consider bringing to your area include: Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in February, Take Back the Night and Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, and Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.
For more information on these awareness months visit:
- Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month
- Take Back the Night
- Sexual Assault Awareness Month
- Shine the Light Domestic Violence Awareness Month
For More Information:
- Day One- Tips for Caregivers
- Love is Respect- Help your child fact sheet
- Respect Love- Advice for Parents
- iPhone App- Love is Not Abuse App for parents
For Schools/Curriculum Ideas
- Break the Cycle
- Safe Dates
- Veto Violence-CDC
- Bullying, Teen Dating Violence, and Sexual Violence Guide
Helplines and Online Chat Available 24 Hours a Day/7 Days a Week
- New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline 1.800.942.6906
- National Domestic Violence Hotline 1.800.799.7233
- National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline 1.866.331.9474 TTD/TTY-1.866.331.8453
- Love is Respect Peer Advocates 1.866.331.9474 or Text “loveis” to 22522
- Love is Respect Online Chat