As the season of chocolates, gifts to express affection and love approaches, the month of February, a month synonymous to love, is also known as National Teen Dating Violence and Awareness Prevention Month.
According to Centre County Women’s Resource Center, one in three adolescents in the United States will experience physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.
In some instances, people may believe they do not have the voice or prominence to raise awareness for a cause, but they can raise awareness by refusing to be a bystander.
“As Christians, it is our job to love not judge,” said Kamari Hooks, junior accounting major. “So if you know someone experiencing violence in their relationship, give them the love and support they need, that can lead them into seeking help.”
More than often, teens do not believe there is any abuse taking place in their relationship because it is not physical, though emotional and verbal abuse are equally severe.
Verbal and emotional abuse can consist of screaming, threats, monitoring or checking in excessively, humiliation, isolation and name-calling.
Young people in relationships experience more vulnerability considering their inexperience with relationships and their want to be loved from someone other than their parents. These factors come from both male and female despite the stereotypes set by society.
“Love is not enough and it should not be the only reason you’re staying with the person,” said Judy Smith*, junior kinesiology major. “I left an abusive relationship after I was completely worn out, young people should not wait that long.”
There are several outlets of help for California Baptist University students or staff who are experiencing abuse in a relationship or know someone who is: The Counseling Center, free for full-time students and staff, The National Center for Victims of Crime and The National Domestic Violence Hotline are accessible.