Department of Family Services – Domestic and Sexual Violence Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

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

703-324-5730
TTY 711

12000 Government Center Pkwy, Suite 339
Fairfax, VA 22035

Nannette Bowler,
Director

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month - Know Your Worth

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. According to the 2018-2019 Fairfax County Youth Survey, 28.5% of teens have experienced dating aggression, including forced/pressured sex, physical violence, verbal abuse and/or stalking from a partner – a 2% decrease from the 2017-2018 data.

It’s important to celebrate the gains we have made in the county toward supporting healthier relationships. However, we must also recognize where teens need additional support. According to the 2018-2019 Fairfax County Youth Survey, almost 90% of teens that had been sexually harassed anywhere from 1 to 40 times in the past 12 months have also considered suicide, with 83.6% of those teens actually attempting suicide. This evidence, provided by our county’s youth, demonstrates the prevalence of abuse among youth, and how the effects of interpersonal violence can severely impact mental health development and increase risk of suicide.

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. Accordingly, our theme for TDVAM 2020 is Be.The.One: Know Your Worth.

We encourage everyone to Be.the.One: Know Your Worth, and Fairfax County is participating in a series of events to help with that endeavor.

Tuesday, Feb. 11 - Pep Rally & Proclamation

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Department of Family Services Domestic and Sexual Violence Services proclaimed February 2020 as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Learn more about the proclamation.

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month 2020 proclamation group photo

Thursday, Feb. 13 (7:30-8:30 p.m.) - What Your Teen Wants You to Know About Dating Workshop (This event is in Spanish.)

Do you have a teen in your life who may soon be entering into dating relationships, or may be dating already? Want to learn about how to build healthy relationships? This workshop was an opportunity to hear advice from Fairfax County teens about what relationships are like in 2020 and what teen wants you to know about dating. Relationships are different for everyone, but the more we talk about dating, the stronger and healthier our relationships can be! Together we can Be. The. One: Know Your Worth. This event was in Spanish and it was free but registration was required.

Taller de Padres: Lo Que Su Adolescente Quiere Que Usted Sepa Acerca De Su Relación

Tiene un adolescente en su vida que pronto puede estar entrando en relaciones, o tal vez ya está saliendo? Quieres aprender sobre cómo construir relaciones saludables? Entonces este taller es para usted! Escuche los consejos de los adolescentes del Condado de Fairfax sobre cómo son las relaciones en 2020, y descubra lo que su adolescente quiere que sepa sobre las relaciones. Las relaciones son diferentes para todos, pero cuanto más hablamos de ellos, más fuertes y saludables nuestras relaciones pueden ser! Juntos podemos Ser. El. Uno: Conozca Su Valor

Gerry Hyland Government Center, 8350 Richmond Highway, Conference Room 221C, Alexandria, VA 22309.

Saturday, Feb. 22 (1-3:30 p.m.) - What Your Teen Wants You to Know About Dating Workshop (This event is in Spanish.)

Do you have a teen in your life who may soon be entering into dating relationships, or may be dating already? Want to learn about how to build healthy relationships? This workshop was an opportunity to hear advice from Fairfax County teens about what relationships are like in 2020 and what teen wants you to know about dating. Relationships are different for everyone, but the more we talk about dating, the stronger and healthier our relationships can be! Together we can Be. The. One: Know Your Worth. This event was in Spanish and it was free but registration was required.

Taller de Padres: Lo Que Su Adolescente Quiere Que Usted Sepa Acerca De Su Relación

Tiene un adolescente en su vida que pronto puede estar entrando en relaciones, o tal vez ya está saliendo? Quieres aprender sobre cómo construir relaciones saludables? Entonces este taller es para usted! Escuche los consejos de los adolescentes del Condado de Fairfax sobre cómo son las relaciones en 2020, y descubra lo que su adolescente quiere que sepa sobre las relaciones. Las relaciones son diferentes para todos, pero cuanto más hablamos de ellos, más fuertes y saludables nuestras relaciones pueden ser! Juntos podemos Ser. El. Uno: Conozca Su Valor

Reston Community Center, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston, VA 20191.

5 Ways for Teens to Build Self-Esteem and #KnowYourWorth

  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

Now that You Know Your Worth

Help spread the word that teen dating violence is unacceptable and boost a teen’s self-esteem. Share these facts:

  • Intimate partner violence often begins in adolescence, with 25% of survivors saying their first experience with IPV occurred within teen relationships.1
  • During 2018-2019, almost 30% of Fairfax County teens experienced dating aggression, including forced sex, physical violence, verbal abuse or stalking.2
  • Nearly 90% of the teens who were sexually harassed during the past 12 months have also considered suicide. Almost 84% of those teens attempted suicide.3
  • Be the one to help teens build empathy, respect, healthy communication and conflict resolution skills to promote the development of mutually respectful, caring and nonviolent relationships.
  • Be the one to bolster self-esteem of teens in our communities. Encourage young people to pursue healthy relationships, promote their resilience and interrupt the cycle of violence. Ensure them that teen dating violence is never tolerated and everyone deserves to feel safe in their relationships. That’s why our theme for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month 2020 is Be.The.One: Know Your Worth.

1,2,3 2018-2019 Fairfax County Youth Survey

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Fairfax Virtual Assistant