February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) which gives us a chance to shed light on one of the most devastating, often hidden, dangers that our young people face.

1 in 3 teens will experience dating abuse, but only 25% of parents talk to their kids about relationships. Use this month to talk with teens about what love really is, how to treat friends and partners, and how to stay safe in relationships. 

To bring awareness to our community schools, our community educators created a toolkit for schools, universities, and youth groups to use during Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. These materials have been created with teens in mind, and with the help of teens/young adults: Get the TDVAM Toolkit - Free to download and use! 

Love is Respect has also created A Parent's Guide to Teen Dating Violence. This resource is helpful for parents looking to talk to their teens or pre-teens about this tough topic.

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Below is list of suggested activities that you can participate in during Respect Week, the week of February 10th to raise awareness about teen dating violence.

Day 1 - 2/10: Proclamation Day

1 in 3 teens in the US have experienced some type of abuse in their relationships with a significant other. On this day we encourage youth to declare what they deserve and expect their relationships with others to look like.

Day 2 - 2/11: Treat Yourself Tuesday

Use today to empower yourself and do what makes you happy. Maybe you can watch a movie with a friend and eat some snacks. You could try a new workout regimen or cook a new recipe. Just make sure to take some time out of the day to take care of yourself.

Day 3 - 2/12: Wear Orange for Love

Orange for Love day is a day in which we wear orange to raise awareness of teen dating violence. Think about the reason you’re wearing orange. Post a photo of you wearing orange on social media and finish the sentence, “I wear orange because…” and use the hashtags #Orange4Love, #teenDVmonth, and #loveisrespect. Most importantly remember, Love is respect, not abuse!

Day 4 - 2/13: Using Your Hands for Good

We often hear that dating violence is about physical abuse, but it is more than that. Let’s use our hands for good. Take today to craft, create, or paint something in your art class or afterschool programs. Other ideas could include lending a helping hand at your school, or in your community.

Day 5 - 2/14: Celebrate All Love

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is not only a day to celebrate romantic love between couples. Use today to spread love to anyone and everyone. Open the door for a stranger and exchange a smile. Send a loving text message or snap, or write a nice note on a post-it and put it on someone’s locker.