Happy New Year
December 29, 2011
February Bulletin
February 3, 2012

With Valentine’s Day this month, February presents a natural opportunity to talk with teens about healthy dating practices.

According to a 2009 survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, “9.8 percent of high school students report being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the 12 months prior to the survey.”

Wendy Isom, Victim Advocate Program Coordinator for the Salt Lake City Police Department, encourages parents to talk with teens about the nature of their dating relationships.

“While the approach we take as advocates may differ with teens, the same warning signs we see in domestic violence relationships among adults are red flags for youth, as well,” she said.

“Hopefully teens have good role models in the home, but for those who don’t, there are always school counselors and even online programs to help them,” Isom added.

A good website on the topic is loveisrespect.org, a collaboration between Break the Cycle and the National Dating Abuse Helpline.

They offer the following checklist to determine whether a relationship is veering off course. Ask yourself, Is This Abuse?

  • Checking your cell phone or email without permission
  • Constantly putting you down
  • Extreme jealousy or insecurity
  • Explosive temper
  • Isolating you from family or friends
  • Making false accusations
  • Mood swings
  • Physically hurting you in any way
  • Possessiveness
  • Telling you what to do

As always, if you’re in immediate danger, call 911. But if you’re looking for resources, may we recommend:

http://www.cdc.gov/CDCTV/BreakTheSilence/index.html

http://www.health.utah.gov/vipp/pdf/DatingViolence/Survivor%20Booklet.pdf

http://www.vetoviolence.org/datingmatters/

  • Utah Domestic Violence Link Line:
    1-800-897-LINK (5465)