February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to have a conversation about what it is and how we can help prevent it. Dads’ Resource Center is on a mission to make sure that fathers know they play an important role in helping to prevent teen dating violence. When Dad takes an active role, less teen dating violence happens, and for numerous reasons.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teen dating violence affects millions of young people. It can include physical violence, sexual violence, psychological distress, and stalking. It can have a long-lasting impact on the child’s well-being.
The CDC also reports that 1 in 11 female and 1 in 14 male high school students have experienced physical dating violence in the last year. When it comes to sexual dating violence among high school students, 1 in 8 females have experienced it, as have 1 in 26 males.
Here are five ways that fathers help prevent dating violence:
- Be a role model. How you act toward women will greatly influence both how your son acts toward women and the norms your daughter develops about the men in her life. Always be respectful toward women.
- The connection between a father and his children is vital for them to develop their confidence and self-worth. Be supportive of your children and help them build up their resiliency and sense of self, which will make them better able to avoid, or deal with, these types of perilous situations.
- Talk to your children about setting appropriate boundaries with others. Help them to understand the lines they need to draw to protect themselves – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
- Educate yourself on dating abuse. Loveisrespect.org has good information on the different types of dating abuse.
- Have an ongoing discussion with your children about what is going on in their lives. This includes talking about routine things, because that keeps the lines of communication going so that you can talk to them about these kinds of issues and they feel they can talk to you about these sensitive things.
Dads’ Resource Center has been established to benefit children of separated or divorced parents by advocating the importance of fathers having adequate opportunities to fulfill their role of fatherhood. The group helps get information regarding the issues out to the public and works with fathers to help make improvements. To get more information, visit the site at: dadsrc.org.
Today, we sat down with Dads’ Ressource Center Executive Director Jeff Steiner to discuss this in further detail, here is that discussion: