Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

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McGruff the Crime Dog and AlertID Share Warning Signs and Resources

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Prevention is key to protecting our children and making sure they never feel the sting of domestic abuse

According to the National Domestic Abuse Hotline, each year 1.5 million high school students experience physical abuse from a dating partner. Only one-third of those victims seek help. Dating violence is the verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse of a partner. Teen victims of dating violence pose a higher risk of substance abuse, eating disorders as well as a risk of future abuse (National Domestic Abuse Hotline, 2015). To address this serious problem, The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and AlertID have joined forces to raise awareness and offer warning signs, advice for parents, and resources for victims.

The National Crime Prevention Council, (Home to McGruff the Crime Dog®) is the nonprofit leader in crime prevention. “We need to start early in teaching young people strategies to recognize healthy dating relationships," said Ann M. Harkins, NCPC President and CEO. “Prevention is key to protecting our children and making sure they never feel the sting of domestic abuse.”

AlertID, your neighborhood safety network, encourages families to be proactive about their safety and that of their children. According to AlertID founder, Keli Wilson, “We work hard every day to get critical information to our members to help protect their families. We encourage every parent to take a few minutes to review these important tips and talk to their teens about this serious issue.”

Please review the following warning signs, tips and resources about Teen Dating Violence.

Your child may exhibit some or all of the following dating violence warning signs:

  •     Makes excuses and apologizes for his or her partner’s behaviors
  •     Often has unexplained injuries, such as bruises or body pain
  •     Isolates him or herself from family and friends and only deals with his or her partner
  •     The dating partner frequently texts or calls demanding to know where and with whom he or she has been
  •     Is frequently upset or depressed but is unwilling to discuss the cause

Advice for Parents:

  •     Be a good example: Displaying positive and healthy relationships will model what an appropriate and respectful relationship with a significant other looks like.
  •     Teach your children to trust their judgment: Having an open conversation about dating violence, physical and verbal abuse is important in preparing your child to know how to safely and properly avoid abusive relationships. Discuss with your child characteristics of a healthy and respectful relationship.
  •     Create an open environment: Your child should know that they can come to you in times of need for support - not criticism or judgment. Maintaining a neutral position may help your teen to open up about their partner, so try listening and not immediately jumping to conclusions. Assure your child that if he or she ever finds him or herself in a violent relationship that he or she is not to blame.

Resources:
National Domestic Violence Hotline: Dating Abuse Helpline offers real-time, one-on-one support from peer advocates. Text “loveis” to 22522 or Call 1-866-331-9474.

Loveisrespect:
http://www.loveisrespect.org: A website that aims to educate individuals on what it’s like to be in an abusive relationship and the importance of being able to identify healthy relationships.

Parent Help Guide to Start the Conversation with Your Teen: http://www.itstimetotalkday.org/sites/default/files/How-To-Start-A-Conversation-Guide.pdf

About AlertID
AlertID®, Your neighborhood safety network, is free to use and helps protect families and neighborhoods. AlertID's mission is to help people live safely by providing a secure way to receive trusted public safety alerts and share information with family members and neighbors. AlertID uses technology to help citizens and federal, state and local authorities share information about crime, sex offenders, natural disasters, missing children and severe weather that can threaten public safety. AlertID is accessible to members online as well as by email and mobile app. For more information visit http://www.AlertID.com

About The National Crime Prevention Council
The National Crime Prevention Council is the nonprofit leader in crime prevention. For more than 30 years, our symbol of safety, McGruff the Crime Dog®, has delivered easy-to-use crime prevention tips to millions of adults, teens, and children. Law enforcement agencies nationwide rely on our expertise to make an impact on personal safety and crime every day. For more information on how NCPC can be a public safety expert for you or how to “Take A Bite Out Of Crime®,” visit http://www.ncpc.org.

Sources:
http://www.loveisrespect.org : Loveisrespect is a project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline
http://teendvmonth.org/2015/ (Teen Dating Violence Month)

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Thomas McAllister
@AlertID
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