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February is teen dating violence prevention month

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month(KOLO)
Published: Feb. 11, 2021 at 2:09 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - February is teen dating violence prevention awareness month.

Officials say they have seen rates of domestic violence increase during the pandemic, and they are working hard to let kids and adults know they are supported while they try to navigate and develop relationships, even if it is not romantic.

“One of the things we really encourage in schools for parents is to talk to us about what their boundaries are you know what their emotional boundaries are like their physical boundaries are, what their electronic boundaries are what feels safe to them basically, what feels okay to them,” says Ann Rausch, a program coordinator for the state Council of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

Rausch says it is important to set healthy relationship patterns when a person is young. She says young people shouldn’t be left alone to figure things out, they should have protection and guidance from their family and community. And parents don’t have to wait until adolescence to start modeling healthy relationships.

Some of the warning signs of a potentially abusive relationship are putting others down, attempting to isolate activities and not respecting boundaries, says Rausch.

“Early warning signs of that there may be a problem would be things like as your as the person you’re hanging out with or getting respect the boundaries you have for your phone,” says Rausch. “Do they want to know your password? And get mad at you when you don’t admit it to them? Do they get into your phone and read your messages? Do they text you more often that feels comfortable for you?”

CDVSA offers a program for parents who think their child might be vulnerable called Talk Now Talk Often. Rausch says it helps parents become more engaged in their kid’s lives, and overcome the awkwardness that can happen when discussing relationships. She also says there are more resources for kids on the Choose Respect campaign website through the state.

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