Helping Hearts with Teen Dating Violence

PADV’s Teen Dating Violence Program focuses on educating youth and youth-influencers about healthy relationships, consent, and intimate partner violence. Our programming ranges from one-time presentations to our six-session “Healthy Relationships” course.  We also have a specially developed curriculum targeted to youth at high risk for teen dating violence.

Education to adults on teen dating violence is critical as well.  One in three youth will be the victim of some type of dating violence, yet 82% of adults believe it won’t affect their children or their children’s friends.  To bridge this gap, we work extensively with adults including parents, teachers, coaches, law enforcement officers and religious leaders to ensure they’ll know how to talk to youth about healthy relationships and intervene appropriately if a youth reaches out to them for help. 

Many components of our Teen Dating Violence Program enhance its effectiveness including:

  1. It relies heavily on getting directly involved with youth-centered and youth-led organizations to directly engage youth voices in the conversation and work.
     
  2. It provides non-violent resources and options for youth who have experienced or are currently experiencing a violent relationship.
     
  3. It empowers community organizations to work in close partnership with us to create a coordinated response to teen dating violence and aid for victims.
     
  4. The PADV teen advisory board, made up of youth from high schools throughout metro-Atlanta, allows teens to take a forward role in combating teen dating violence in our community.

Unfortunately, the numbers tell a daunting story about teen dating violence in Georgia.  Currently, Georgia ranks third highest in the nation for the percentage of teens experiencing physical violence in a dating relationship.  Fifty percent of fatalities resulting from intimate partner violence in Georgia happened in relationships that began when the victim was between 13-24. Another alarming statistic is that the highest rate of intimate partner violence and sexual assault occurs in young women between the ages of 16-24.  Our work is critical!

“I want the community to know how inclusive our programming is! We want to reach the most teens possible.  We’re not concerned about labels of sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, education, religious belief, gender, etc., because we know teen dating violence crosses all boundaries and affects everyone. I also want the community to know that we are always accepting applications for volunteers, interns, and members of the Teen Dating Violence Advisory board. If you feel empowered to get on the front-lines of teen dating violence prevention, please visit our website, padv.org, for more information!” - Jenani Srijeyanthan – PADV Dating Violence Prevention Coordinator

During Domestic Violence Awareness Month we hope you will join us in our mission to end the crime of intimate partner violence.  If you are moved to support our Teen Dating Violence Program we encourage you to join Helping Hearts, our monthly giving program to expand PADV’s resources, ensuring we can meet the needs of all survivors. Click Here to learn more and donate.