According to research, one in three teens in the U.S. experiences physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner. These statistics also indicate that only 33 percent of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse.
To help raise dating violence awareness, Verizon Wireless teamed up with Break the Cycle’s Love Is Not Abuse Campaign in partnership with Mary Kay as part of NO MORE Silence: It’s Time to Talk Day. In events hosted across the country, parents pledged to talk to teens about dating violence and donated no-longer-used wireless phones and accessories to HopeLine from Verizon, a program that provides support to domestic and dating violence prevention organizations across the nation.
Actor Morris Chestnut, Olympic gold medalist Jordan Wieber and Sharon Love, co-founder of the One Love Foundation, joined a group that included survivors of teen dating violence and others in a talk-a-thon in New York to encourage parents to talk to their teens about dating violence. They continued the conversation by visiting the High School for Fashion Industries to talk with students and teachers about healthy dating relationships.
“It’s Time to Talk Day provided parents with an opportunity to learn about the warning signs of dating violence and the resources available to them and their families,” said Elva Lima, executive director of community relations, Verizon Wireless. “The It’s Time to Talk Day toolkit and technological innovations like the One Love Foundation’s My Plan app help drive awareness and understanding of this critical social issue.”
During February, which is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, parents are encouraged to visit the It’s Time to Talk Day website to take the pledge and download resources to help them communicate with their teens.