The University of Texas Prevention Research Center

Prevention in Action – Dating Violence

February 4, 2013

In This Issue:

February 11 is Wear Orange Day

Policy Kit Helps Break the Dating Violence Cycle

Research Links Dating Violence to Poor Health Outcomes

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month: Help is Here

One in three teens is a victim of emotional, physical or sexual abuse from a dating partner. Many teens find themselves in an abusive relationship because they don’t know how to identify the red flags or where to go for help. Fortunately, there are many resources available to support survivors and promote healthy relationships.

To heighten awareness of relationship violence in the United States, February has been designated as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

Dating violence is emotional, sexual or physical violence that occurs within a dating relationship between current or ex-partners. These violent acts can happen in person, online or via phone calls or text messaging. It even includes stalking. Many times this negative behavior begins with constant teasing or clingy behavior by a partner and can quickly escalate to a dangerous situation.

Teens who are involved in an abusive relationship can suffer emotionally, socially or physically. Studies show that these teens are more likely to have depression, decreased self-esteem, abuse drugs and alcohol, remain in abusive relationships for their lifetime or commit suicide.

It’s important for teens and adults alike to recognize warning signs of relationship violence, know how to identify and maintain a healthy relationship and where to seek assistance. The following resources are available to help advocates and survivors prevent teen dating violence:

Break The Cycle

Texas Council on Family Violence

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

Child Welfare Information Gateway

CDC Injury Center: Violence Prevention


Webinar Series: Understanding Teen Dating Violence

Multiple Dates: February 5, 12, 19, 26
Registration Required

This series of free webinars will give advocates and educators updated information to help understand and prevent dating abuse as well as tips on how to encourage youth to become advocates.

Register here!


Wear Orange February 11 to Promote Healthy Relationships

To bring attention to dating violence and start the conversation about promoting respectful and healthy relationships, encourages everyone to wear orange on Monday, February 11.

Participants can post their photos via #TDVAM and #RESPECTWEEK on Twitter.


Policy Kit Helps Break the Teen Dating Violence Cycle

The School Policy Kit by Break the Cycle helps schools, school districts and community partners create protocols and policies to address teen dating violence. It includes sample templates, detailed resources for teachers and staff, and additional information about best practices and implementing prevention education programs.

Learn more about the kit.


Research Links Dating Violence to Poor Health Outcomes

Analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health found various associations between teen dating violence victimization and certain health outcomes. Results showed that youth who experienced teen dating violence were more likely to engage in certain risk behaviors such as increased drug and alcohol use and suicidal ideation.

Click here to read more.

Source: Exner-Cortens, D., Eckenrode, J., Rothman, E. (2013). Longitudinal Associations Between Teen Dating Violence Victimization and Adverse Health Outcomes. Pediatrics, 131(1), 71-78.


Court Training and Improvement Program Grant Available

Funding Source: Office on Violence Against Women

Application Deadline: March 11, 2013

This grant is open to federal, state, tribal, territorial or local courts, or court-based programs. It aims to modify criminal and civil court function and enhance court infrastructure to be more comprehensive and efficient. It also targets improving court responses to victims of dating violence, sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking.

Learn more about this funding source.


Prevention in Action highlights current research activities and events at The University of Texas Prevention Research Center and features resources and national news devoted to adolescent health.

If you have any announcements you would like included in this newsletter, please send them to Sonali Weerasinghe at  If you would like to join our mailing list, please click here.

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