Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

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Photo by Makayla Stein

BNHS couple holding hands

Makayla Stein, Reporter

     As most people know, February is the month that recognizes teen dating violence. According to loveisrespect.org, nearly 1.5 million high school students in the nation are victims of abuse every year.

     Most teenagers have heard of teen dating violence. However, not all of them fully understand the concept. Teen dating violence isn’t just someone being forced to do things by their date, it can also include verbal or physical abuse. Not all abuse can be seen by other people and some abusers cause more damage than others. Therefore, other people can’t always tell if their friend is being abused or not.

     “Teenagers should be more aware of what goes on around them and help each other out if something is wrong,” said Hannah Johnson(‘16).

     Verbal abuse is the main violence that is most commonly overlooked. People involved in verbally abusive relationships often feel that it is normal and that their boyfriend/girlfriend is just upset. Verbal abuse includes calling names, causing emotional trauma, and threatening. Threats could be anything from the abuser saying they will hurt the victim, claiming they will hurt someone else or even hurting themselves to manipulate the victim of the abuse.

     Physical is the more common abuse that is thought of when the term violence is used. Some victims have scratches and bruises. Others may still be being abused but not show any obvious signs. Physical abuse could be shoving, kicking, slapping, pinching or even strangling.

     North students remember sitting and listening to the speech on Feb. 3 about dating violence. The presentation addressed main points on what people who are victims of violent relationships should do. One of the most encouraged things to do was to talk to someone about it. Family, close friends, advisers and counselors are all people that can offer helpful advice regarding abusive situations. The sooner the victim gets help, the sooner the abuse will stop.

     Many schools and families aim to educate their children about dating violence.

     “Love and hatred lead to different actions, actions that people will remember,” said Juan Hernandez(‘18).

     The hope is that the violence will decrease and more healthy relationships will blossom.