With 1 in 3 teens impacted by teen dating violence & abuse, and only 33% disclosing these experiences, NAM is working to empower teens to not only report the behavior, but to also learn how to recognize the early signs and red flags that could indicate future abusive behaviors. By educating teens early, it is a goal to prevent domestic violence and abuse before it ever happens with the Violence Education Prevention program that NAM’s Family Violence Center offers. Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, or TDVAM, is the month that NAM amplifies these efforts in alignment with awareness campaigns created by national organizations, such as Love Is Respect.
2022 also marks the first time that NAM was able to reach students through TikTok, after launching the page in November of 2021. During Respect Week, NAM developed content to match the the 2022 Love is Respect theme #TalkAboutIt, presenting videos to encourage conversations about this issue. The content not only addressed red flags and TDVAM statistics, but also reinforced some positive messages on healthy aspects of relationships. You can find NAM on tiktok at our username, @namprevents.
This year also brought NAM into more classrooms: 115 students attended the Violence Prevention Program in classrooms in February of 2021. In 2022, that number reached nearly 500. NAM’s Violence Prevention Educator, Marina, talked to hundreds of students across Klein, Aldine, Cy-Fair, and Spring school districts - sometimes presenting in the classroom for consecutive days at a time during the month of February.
“I think we have had a great response to the materials we are using in classrooms,” said Sheryl, NAM Family Violence Center Director. “Teachers are using the flyer we created with information about teen dating violence in their classrooms as well, as a resource for their students.”
“The activity we’ve seen on tiktok is wonderful as well because its reaching the youth. There’s a few of us adults that are on tiktok, but we know its mostly the youth that are absorbing the messages on tiktok,” said Sheryl. “We’re looking at ways that we can hopeful go back to live and interactive events that we can do next year as well.”
NAM is also grateful to Lone Star Legal Aid for inviting us to be apart of their online discussion “Teen Dating Violence & Sexual Assault,” that can be viewed at this link on facebook. The Woodlands Online and Tomball High School Cougar Claw also covered NAM’s violence prevention work in their news articles. We are thankful for the spotlight on our efforts to teach teens the tools they need to recognize healthy and unhealthy relationships.