Department of Family Services – Domestic and Sexual Violence Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

TTY 711

12000 Government Center Pkwy, Suite 339
Fairfax, VA 22035

Nannette Bowler,

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month banner graphic

Teen dating violence is a pattern of harmful and destructive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner. It usually involves a series of abusive behaviors where one partner has more control or dominance over another.

The purpose of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month is to raise public awareness about the impact of dating violence on youth, educate young people about healthy relationships, and encourage the community to get involved to disrupt cycles of violence among teens.

Many teens experience some form of intimate partner violence even before graduating from high school.

The task of ending teen dating violence is a community responsibility. By building the self-esteem of teens in our communities, we can encourage our young people to pursue healthy relationships, promote their resilience, and interrupt the cycle of violence. Let’s ensure people know that dating violence is never tolerated and that everyone deserves to feel safe in their relationships. 

5 Ways for Teens to Build Self-Esteem
  1. Remember: Your worth does not depend on your grades, your looks, your friend group or your achievements.
  2. Instead of criticizing yourself for a mistake or failure, take a deep breath and think about how it could be an opportunity for growth.
  3. Know that you aren’t a bad person for moving on from an unhealthy friendship or relationship.
  4. Practice talking with supportive friends and family about what is hard for you and cheer each other whether you succeed or struggle.
  5. Forgive yourself for the harsh or unkind things you may think or feel about yourself.

silhouette of young people

Have questions or need help?

  • Domestic and Sexual Violence 24-Hour Hotline 703-360-7273
  • Domestic Violence Action Center 703-246-4573 
  • Domestic and Sexual Violence Services Main Office 703-324-5730 
  • If the threat is immediate, call 911.

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