Affinity Health Raises Awareness Around Teen Dating Violence And Prevention
February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, and Affinity Health encourages all South Africans to raise the nation’s awareness about teen dating violence and promote safe, healthy relationships.
Did you know that one in 10 teens will experience dating violence at some time or another? Teens as young as 12 years old have reported being the victim of physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner.
Youngsters are especially vulnerable to dating violence as this is when many of them are first entering relationships. It can be difficult for a tween or teen to recognise what an abusive relationship looks like.
Girls are particularly vulnerable to experiencing violence in their relationships and are more likely to suffer long-term behavioural and health consequences, including suicide attempts, eating disorders, and drug use.
Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month aims to break the cycle of violence by providing support and services to victims, their families, and their communities.
There are four main types of teen dating violence:
- Physical abuse: Hitting, punching, slapping, shoving, kicking
- Verbal abuse: Threats, name-calling, screaming, yelling, ridiculing
- Emotional abuse spreading rumours, isolation, intimidation, stalking, and, more recently, using technology to harass or intimidate by texting, calling, and bullying or monitoring via social networking sites
- Sexual abuse: Unwanted touching or kissing, forced or coerced engagement in sexual acts
“This year’s theme is ‘Know Your Worth’, to remind everyone that you are worthy of being both loved and respected,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.
“This month is also a reminder to victims that abuse is never the fault of the victim. No matter the circumstances, there are no excuses for dating violence and abuse.”
Possible signs that your teen could be involved in an abusive relationship may include:
- Frequent bruises and stories to explain injuries that don’t make sense or keep changing
- Avoiding being with the abuser or with others
- Showing signs of emotional trauma, like fear, anger, or trouble relating to or trusting others
- Being sad or depressed
- Hurting themselves, like cutting
- Suffering nightmares or difficulty sleeping
- Acting out in class or at home
- Having trouble paying attention or be hyperactive
- Using drugs
If you suspect that your teen, or another teen you know, is in an abusive relationship, it’s essential to break the cycle, speak out, and get (the right) help. There is a list of places you can reach out to on the Internet, including Childline SA (08000 55 555), your child’s school guidance councillor, your local police station, or your family doctor.
About Affinity Health
Affinity Health aims to provide premier quality, affordable medical insurance to South Africans. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service when they are faced with injury or illness. We work to deliver innovative solutions that are simple, cost-effective, and proven, so our cover is structured to ensure that you get exactly what you need. For more information, follow us on Facebook, and Instagram.