Every year, thousands of teenagers across the State of Maine experience dating violence. February is Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month, a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in youth relationships and promote programs that focus on prevention. The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence and the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault are calling on Mainers to help recognize this important month, not only for youth in Maine, but for communities statewide.
Dating violence is “controlling, abusive, and aggressive behavior in a romantic relationship. It occurs in both heterosexual and same-sex relationships and can include verbal, physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, or a combination of these behaviors.” Dating violence often starts with what may seem like minor behavior, such as teasing and name calling.