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Love Shouldn’t Hurt: Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February marks Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) – a national effort to raise awareness about violence in relationships among teens and young adults and to promote programs and interventions to help prevent it.

Dating violence encompasses types of abuse that can range from physical and sexual violence to forms of emotional abuse, including intimidation, coercion, threats and psychological manipulation. Especially for young people, it is important to remember that you do not need to experience physical violence to be a victim of abuse. Cyberbullying by partners as well as threats of being outed are also forms of dating violence.

Approximately 1 in 3 of all young people report experiencing some form of dating violence in relationships. According to a 2013 study, LGBTQ youth experienced sexual and dating violence at higher rates than their heterosexual/cisgender peers. And although there is not enough data to give concrete statistics on the experiences of dating violence among transgender youth, the same researchers reported that transgender participants reported the highest rates of victimization in these categories compared to all other participants. These findings are a disturbing trend and may echo those similarly found in adult LGBTQ communities, especially as they pertain to violence against trans women of color.

Studies like this are especially important so that interventions are designed to be LGBTQ supportive and inclusive. This February, the Health Outreach to Teens Program (HOTT) Program at Callen-Lorde is promoting Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month with our patients and community members. This campaign aims to address and improve various aspects of teen relationships through sex education, community dialogues, and promoting LGBTQ affirming resources available to our youth.

To reach these goals, HOTT has created a programming series of workshops taking place throughout February. These events will engage youth on topics such as consent, media representation of LGBTQ relationships, effective communication, and safer sex practices.

See below for a list of upcoming TDVAM events and be sure to check out the resources available at loveisrespect.org. Together, let’s work towards a healthier future for LGBTQ youth.

February 14th
Stop by HOTT for a very special Valentine’s Day gift bag with some sweet treats just for you!

Me, Myself, and the Media
February 16th, 6-8PM
Join Callen-Lorde’s Patient Education team for a conversation about LGBTQ relationships and media representation! Snacks, drinks, and MetroCards will be provided.

Additional Resources

Dating Violence Quizzes

Chat with a Peer Advocate