LIVINGSTON, NJ — One in three teens in a relationship experiences some form of abuse — physical, sexual, emotional or verbal — from their partner.
Individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 have the highest rate of intimate partner violence. More than 10,000 cases of teen relationship abuse are reported to authorities in New Jersey each year. These statistics are some of the reasons the state of New Jersey requires schools to teach about healthy and unhealthy relationships as part of their curriculum, and also why Congress has designated February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.
The Teen Dating Abuse Awareness Project of the Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women has created an initiative that works with towns and high schools throughout Essex County. It supplies them with materials and ideas to bring this awareness program to their communities during February in conjunction with the Congressional mandate.
The TDAA Project was created in 1992 in response to the reality that teens, as well as adults, are involved in abusive relationships. Throughout the school year, trained TDAA volunteers facilitate ninth-grade classroom presentations free of charge that include an interactive experience. Teens learn about the roles of power and control, the cycle of violence, how to recognize the warning signs of abuse in dating relationships, breakup safety, the role of friends and what constitutes a healthy relationship. Workshops for parents and educators are also available.
For information about how to have a TDAA presentation in your school or for your parent group, or if you have an interest in becoming a TDAA volunteer, call 973-994-4994 or visit https://ncjwessex.org/center-for-women/teen-dating-abuse for more information.