Talking with Teens About Dating Violence

Parents talk with teens

Over the past few weeks, we've joined with the Violence Free Coalition to share messages around Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Each February, we devote attention to what healthy dating relationships look like and how to prevent dating violence.

The truth is, though, that attention must be paid to this topic every single day. Here's why: every year, about 1.5 million high school students across the United States experience some kind of physical abuse from a dating partner.

That's a lot of violence.

And what's even more troubling, three out of four parents have never talked about dating violence with their teens. It's not an easy topic for parents, that's true - but just because it's hard doesn't mean it's any less important.

So, as a parent, how do you start that conversation? There are several resources available to help. Break the Silence offers resources to use when talking about the subject. They've even created a publication dedicated to helping parents by sharing some conversation starters.

And teens aren't off the hook. They, too, can start the conversation with parents. If something about dating violence is in the news, for example, teens can use that as a starting point for talking. A website by provides some insights for teens on that very topic.

Be mindful that teen dating violence does happen. So let's work to end that cycle and help our teens build healthy relationships.

Parents and teens, you've got this!