Group marks Feb. as Teen Dating Violence, Prevention Month

JACKSON, Tenn. — One organization is helping to keep children safe by spreading awareness.


The month of February is Teen Dating Violence and Prevention Month.

Students Against Destructive Decisions, or SADD, is spreading awareness and sharing resources to keep your teen informed and safe.

“According to new data from the CDC, one in four young people will struggle with some sort of toxic relationship. Obviously, we’re more familiar with the physical abuse that can come with a relationship, but SADD is trying to use this opportunity during the month of February to raise awareness about other types of toxic relationships and what parents can do. Things like gaslighting and relationships that can be abusive emotionally or psychologically,” said Rick Birt, the President and CEO of SADD.

SADD believes it is so important to speak to young people and teach them how to develop healthy relationships at a young age.

They also believe parents should be informed on how to speak to their child about these topics and what to do if they think their child is in a toxic relationship.

“We need to make sure we’re having conversations that go above and beyond the birds and the bees, but diving into tough conversations like consent, diving into conversations about what should be acceptable for a person to engage in, what habits with you, and making sure that you have the skills to convey those to your partner in a way that’s clear and understandable,” Birt said.

SADD has a wealth of resources available for parents and young people if they are a victim of a toxic relationship.

Their website has a healthy relationship toolkit that can teach young people how to identify a toxic relationship, how to deal with them, and what to do after. They also have information that teaches parents how to open up the conversation and what kind of advice to give.

In a reminder, members of SADD want to emphasize that the new Mental Health Crisis Hotline, 988, is available for use.

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