Participate in Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Love is patient, gentle, respectful, and kind: not abusive.

The adverse effects of dating violence can last beyond the high school years and into early adulthood: young women and men who were tracked for five years after their initial dating violence victimization reported a range of symptoms that were not evident among their non-victimized peers according to research published in the journal, “Pediatrics,”by Exner-Cortens et al. in 2013. For example, young adult female survivors reported increases in heavy drinking, symptoms of depression, and adult IPV victimization, and young adult male survivors reported increases in suicidal thoughts, marijuana use, and adult IPV victimization

That is why Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) is as important as ever. And it’s easy for youth and organizations to join the annual February campaign.

Break the Cycle and, organizations that focus on dating violence year-round, have teamed up to create a lineup of TDVAM events and activities.

Here’s a sampling of events from the TDVAM 2017 campaign:

Feb. 6-10, Chalk About Love Week                          #ChalkAboutLove

Staff and youth alike are encouraged to use chalk and chalkboards to express their thoughts about healthy youth relationships. Break the Cycle has designed a challenge for each of the five days to foster dialogue about maintaining healthy relationships.

Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m. EST, “Love is Respect, Online and Off” Twitter chat

The focus of this chat is helping young people stay safe while online.

Feb. 13-17, Respect Week                           #RespectWeek2017 has something for everyone, with posters, selfie signs, suggested social media posts, and more in its updated Respect Week Guide (PDF, 1.8MB).

Feb. 14, Wear Orange Day                           #Orange4Love

Wearing something orange on this day will show your support for ending dating violence. Even something as simple as an orange ribbon will do. And make sure you post your photos on’s Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Feb. 15, 8 p.m. EST, “Let’s Talk About Respect + Sex, Baby” Twitter chat

This chat session will focus on discussing healthy versus unhealthy sexual relationships among young people.

Feb. 20-24, Real Week                  #BTCRealTalk

Break the Cycle is asking young and old alike to “get real” in their conversations about youth relationships. For example, Feb. 23 is designated “Throwback Thursday,” and youth are encouraged to write an unsent letter to an ex-partner about what they learned from the relationship.

Throughout the month, in addition to using the hashtags above, make sure to follow and post to #teenDVmonth, #TDVAM, and #loveisrespect.

More on Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Intervention

What Factors Lead Young People to Take Sexual Risks?

Help Prevent Reproductive Coercion by Screening Youth for Dating Violence

How Can Improving Youth Mental Health Prevent Teen Dating Violence?

Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth, the Family and Youth Services Bureau, or the Administration for Children and Families.

9-5 pm Eastern