During the month of February, the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS), a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, is recognizing National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.
Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month brings national focus to the issue of teen dating violence, highlights the need to educate youth about healthy relationships, raises awareness among those who care for them and provides communities with a critical opportunity to work together to prevent this devastating cycle of abuse.
The Ohio Family Violence Prevention Center (FVPC), housed at OCJS, serves as an information clearinghouse for public and private organizations as they provide assistance to victims and offers a variety of services such as providing victim advocacy/assistance, organizing workshops, giving presentations and conducting research on family violence and its impact on communities. The Ohio Family Violence Prevention Advisory Council, a part of the Center, is where Ohio’s top experts in domestic and family violence prevention come together to consider and recommend improvements in the state. Most recently, the Council, along with other lead agencies in the state, provided guidance and assistance for HB 19, the Tina Croucher Act, which requires schools to adopt policies to prevent and address abusive relationships.
The repercussions of teen dating violence are impossible to ignore – the issue affects not just youth but their families, schools and communities as well. Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) brings national focus to the issue of teen dating violence, highlights the need to educate our youth about healthy relationships, raises awareness among those who care for them and provides communities with a critical opportunity to work together to prevent this devastating cycle of abuse.
The History of TDVAM
The Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Initiative was spearheaded by teenagers across the nation who chose to take a stand and put a stop to teen dating violence. In 2005, the importance of addressing teen dating violence was highlighted by its inclusion in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
Now supported by dozens of national, state and local organizations, the call to end teen dating violence was formally recognized by Congress in 2006. At that time, both Houses of Congress declared the first full week in February “National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Week.”
For the third consecutive year, our leaders in Congress are dedicating an entire month to teen dating violence awareness and prevention. To celebrate, we are calling upon government representatives and agencies, public officials, advocates, service providers, schools, parents and youth to take part in programs and activities that promote awareness and prevention of teen dating violence.