LANSING, Mich. — Dating violence causes significant and long-lasting trauma to countless individuals throughout the United States, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is urging all Michiganders to educate themselves, their families, and communities about this widespread and pervasive issue by proclaiming February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.
During this month, Michiganders are encouraged to learn more about the signs of dating violence, the impact perpetrators have on their current or former intimate partners, and how to empower and support victims.
“As a mom of two teenage girls, nothing is more important to me than their safety,” said Gov. Whitmer. “Raising awareness about teen dating violence will help my girls and young Michiganders everywhere. Victims of dating violence need to know that they’re not alone, that they are believed, and that there are resources available to help them. The Division of Victim Services within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is among the important advocates for victims.”
Nearly 1.5 million high school students in the United States are physically abused by dating partners every year, yet only 33 percent of victims ever disclose the abuse. Forty three percent of college women and 28 percent of college men report experiencing either abuse or controlling behaviors in a dating relationship.
Dating violence perpetrators intentionally use a pattern of physical, emotional, sexual, psychological, and/or economic coercion and abuse to control their partners. Additionally, violence in dating relationships can impact anyone – regardless of their religion, culture, gender, sexuality, economic or social status.
“We can all play a role in ending teen dating violence by educating ourselves, empowering young people to develop healthy relationships, and developing better supportive services,” said Debi Cain, executive director of the MDHHS Division of Victim Services. “The MDHHS Division of Victim Services is committed to advancing this critical work by creating more and better dating violence resources for young people while connecting victims with the information and support they may need after experiencing abuse.”
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship and needs support, call the Teen Dating Abuse Helpline at 1-866-331-9474 or text "loveis" to 22522.To find a local domestic violence or sexual assault program provider near you, visit the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence provider directory [lnks.gd]. LGBTQ+ youth in crisis can reach out to The Trevor Project 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 or text/chat at www.thetrevorproject.org/help [lnks.gd].
Click here [lnks.gd] to view proclamation.
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