AUSTIN, Texas — One in three teenagers in the United States will experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse by someone they date or are in a relationship with before they become adults. But education about healthy relationships and information on how to recognize the warning signs can prevent dating abuse before it starts. Every February  love is respect , a project of the  National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) , leads Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM). This year love is respect encouraged young people and the adults in their lives to “ Talk About It !” and shared resources for how to have important conversations around what makes a relationship healthy and how to support someone impacted by abuse. The official 2022 TDVAM Action Guide is available for download at   loveisrespect.org/get-involved/tdvam/ .

The 2022 “Talk About It” theme was chosen by the love is respect Youth Council and the TDVAM advisory group comprised of StrongHearts Native Helpline, One Love Foundation, Esperanza United, and Diamond Diva Empowerment Foundation. The theme reflects the fact that among the most powerful tools for preventing teen dating violence are the meaningful conversations youth have with the adults in their lives. Talking about healthy relationships and navigating the warning signs of abuse can be transformative for youth. A   national study of adolescent dating  relationships and parenting determined that “positive parenting” contributed significantly to adolescents being less tolerant of unhealthy and abusive relationship behaviors.

“We must do more to ensure that we are supporting our youth with the right information and tools when it comes to dating abuse and what makes a relationship healthy,” said  Angela Lee, Director of love is respect . “We must create safe spaces for all young people to share their authentic experiences and stories without judgment. As teens and young adults learn how to navigate relationships, parents and influencers (ex. teachers, coaches, and aunts/uncles) play a pivotal role – youth want and crave our connection and support.”

love is respect hosted   several activities, Instagram Lives and a webinar  to share information about teen dating violence, including relevant resources for youth of color and those in the LGBTQ+ community, using the hashtags “#TalkAboutIt” and “#TDVAM2022.” Parents and other adults can utilize the organization’s   parent’s discussion guide  created in partnership with the   Allstate Foundation  to begin meaningful conversations with the young people in their life, empowering them to have relationships that are healthy, respectful, and free from abuse.

“Part of our activities focused on intersectionality: how every aspect of our identity and our current or future partners’ identities affect our relationships. Pulling from my own experience as a queer woman who is in a relationship with a nonbinary person—sexuality and gender play a huge role in how we understand each other, how we communicate, and the struggles we may face,” said  Megan, love is respect Youth Council member . “We are all in this together and youth deserve to have healthy relationships no matter how they identify.”

love is respect  is the national resource to disrupt and prevent unhealthy relationships and intimate partner violence by empowering young people through inclusive and equitable education, support, and resources. A project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, love is respect offers 24/7 information, support, and advocate to young people who have questions or concerns about their romantic relationships. love is respect is a safe, inclusive space for young people to access help and information in a setting specifically for them. Learn more at   loveisrespect.org