Schedule Appointment

Sign up for an appointment

It just takes a few minutes to sign up and get fast, easy access to care, 24/7. No need for your insurance card yet.

Schedule Appointment

Sign up for an appointment

It just takes a few minutes to sign up and get fast, easy access to care, 24/7. No need for your insurance card yet.

Know About It: Teen Dating Violence

I’ve often thought about that song, “Breaking Up Was Easy in the 90s” by Country Singer Sam Hunt as I wonder how teens and young adults navigate relationships today. There really wasn’t social media in …

I’ve often thought about that song, “Breaking Up Was Easy in the 90s” by Country Singer Sam Hunt as I wonder how teens and young adults navigate relationships today.

There really wasn’t social media in the 90s. I remember MySpace, which was launched in 2004 and then from there an explosion of various social media outlets and options, so many I can honestly say I have not even tried to master.

Yet, today, teens and young adults find themselves constantly connected to one another virtually, leaving me to wonder how do our children and youth learn the appropriate way to break up with someone? 

And where do they learn the attributes of a healthy relationship versus a relationship that is based upon unhealthy, controlling behaviors?

Nationwide February has been designated as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and locally, Hands of Hope staff are working to educate the community on how they can become involved in breaking the cycle of teen dating violence.

On, Saturday, Feb. 11, the Mississinewa High School boy’s basketball game will feature information about teen dating violence. There will also be a T-shirt giveaway highlighting the theme: Know About It – referring to teen dating violence. Thanks to local businesses and individuals, 100 shirts will be given out displaying Hands of Hope’s 24 hour helpline.

Marion High School also has agreed to get on board with this initiative by hosting a similar event at their boys’ basketball game on Friday, Feb. 17.

I would encourage the community to come out and support these local teams, as well as all local students. It is of critical importance that each one of us remember what it was like to be a teen once, trying to find your way. The pre-teen and teen years should be a time to enjoy life and learn what you want out of life, whether or not that includes an intimate partner relationship.

Teen dating violence is common –Nearly 1 in 11 female and about 1 in 15 male high school students report having experienced physical dating violence in the last year while about 1 in 9 female and 1 in 36 male high school students report having experienced sexual dating violence in the last year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Teens often think some behaviors like teasing and name-calling are a “normal” part of a relationship, but these behaviors can become abusive and develop into serious forms of violence.

The key is making sure our pre-teens and teens are educated so when they decide to date someone, they can see the warning signs which include:

  • Physical violence
    Examples: Hitting, kicking, pushing
  • Sexual violence
    Examples: Forcing a partner to take part in a sex act
  • Psychological abuse
    Examples: Name-calling, insulting, threatening
  • Stalking
    Examples: Repeated unwanted or threatening phone calls or messages, showing up unwanted

Teen Dating Violence can happen in person or electronically including repeated texting or posting sexual pictures of a partner online without their permission.

Ideally, parents should be the ones having the conversation about dating, relationships, sex and abuse. Unfortunately, too often that doesn’t happen, which is why each of us have a responsibility to educate ourselves and then in turn educate others. If you have direct contact with a pre-teen or teen, talk to them about teen dating violence.

If you know someone who has direct contact, encourage them to become informed. And, as a parent of a pre-teen or teen, please be involved in your child’s life, but also allow other professionals who might be able to educate your child to play that role.

I remember as a parent to three strong willed daughters, that while I was not shy about having the tough conversations, my attempts were not always easily received – thankfully my daughters were surrounded by other positive role models who could relay the message.

My thinking about the importance of talking to teens was reinforced when I read a comment from a Grant County high school student in response to a Hands of Hope presentation about healthy relationships the student had heard on Jan. 23:

 “This was very enlightening as I feel adults just expect all of us to know these things without actually talking to us about them.”

As has often been said when referring to parenting, “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child” – so let’s ban together and make this February’s focus on how to empower our youth so that all of their relationships are healthy and happy.

For more information about teen dating violence go to Hands of Hope’s Facebook page or call our 24 hour helpline at 765-664-0701.    

Latest Posts

father figure

Hi there.
We're Radiant Health.

As of January 18, 2023, Grant Blackford Mental Health and Family Services Society, two organizations that merged in April 2022, rebranded under the unified name Radiant Health.

We’re excited for you to meet the new us, and to get a chance to help work together on the new you.

How we help.

When you’re in the middle of it, addiction can feel like a dead-end road. We know for certain that it isn’t. Just like any mental health challenge, addiction is an obstacle on our path. And, with some innovation and hardwork, we can work our way around it. On the other side of that obstacle is a bright future with healthy relationships, purpose-driven life, and a profound joy that’s been missing for all too long.

What do we mean?

Like so many things, mental health is passed down through families. Through behaviors, mirroring, and conditioning, we learn so much of what we know from those closest to us. Oftentimes that’s for the better, sometimes it’s not. At Radiant Health, we’re here to help ensure that your family makes purpose and joy as hereditary as any trait you might pass down to future generations. With a bit of hard word, together, we can make joy run in your family. 

What is Better?

Better ≠ perfect. Better means a path of continuous improvement; of evolution. When we focus on getting 1% better, 1% brighter every single day., we’re able to see the joy in the moment, while feeling the pride that comes with taking the reins over your life and working hard on yourself.  Here at Radiant, to focus on your future, we move towards it one achievable step at a time. 

What is Better Care?

When we talk about “brighter, better care” through our specialized services it boils down to 3 simple ideas. First, better care is safer care. Our facilities and staff are trained and equipped to offer safe, secure facilities during any stay. Second, better care is a respect for dignity. We believe in the dignity of every human being and we treat each person with the same level of respect. Finally, better care is the pursuit of purpose. Our treatment is designed with the firm belief that every person has purpose and, through it, finds joy.

What to Expect?

At Radiant Health you can expect a warmth and cheer that are rare in the mental health space. We believe firmly that the commitment to mental health is a commitment to finding purpose, but also discovering joy in the pursuit of it. Walking through our doors is a simple and transparent process. You’ll begin with an initial consultation with our expert staff, developing a blueprint, and taking that first step towards incremental improvement.