February Declared as Teen Dating Awareness Month

The theme of the campaign is, "Control Isn't love," that is behind the proclamation issued by Governor Cuomo this month, declaring February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.

Gwen Wright, the Executive Director of the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, says there are concerns for domestic violence among teens dating, but also, and just as importantly, "controlling behavior issues," with one person in the relationship trying to assert control over the other.

"It's not unusual for young people to say, 'Well, that's just because he cares about me, or that's just because she really wants to know what I'm doing and who I'm with.' I see it again, as caring, when it's really much more controlling behavior."

"Control Isn't Love" will also be a social media advertising campaign, designed to educate teens and adults about the signs of teen dating abuse and where to seek help.

"Things that kids mistake for love and caring; checking up on them all the time, following them around, wanting to know who their friends are, insisting that they respond to texts or calls or emails immediately."

Wright says the campaign, already underway, aims to highlight the types of messages and behavior that should be considered, "red flags," and offers both resources and help.

Photo: Getty Images

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