February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit clinic providing health and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma, is bringing awareness to Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 26% of women and 15% of men were victims of sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime; and they first experienced these, or other forms of violence, by that partner before age 18.
“Violence in an adolescent relationship sets the stage for problems in future relationships,” Misty Gillespie, LMFT, said, OKCIC’s Behavioral Health Director.
Teen Dating Violence is common, affecting millions of teens in the U.S. each year. Unhealthy or violent relationships can have severe short and long-term effects on a developing teen.
Youth who are victims of teen dating violence are more likely to:
- Experience symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Engage in unhealthy behaviors: like using tobacco, drugs and alcohol
- Think about suicide
“Physical abuse is just one category of violence in a relationship,” Gillespie said. “Other categories can include verbal, sexual and emotional abuse. That is why it is important to understand and create healthy relationships, so you can spot unhealthy ones.”
Supporting the development of healthy and nonviolent relationships can help reduce the occurrence of teen dating violence and prevent lifelong, harmful effects.
It is important for youth to begin learning the skills needed to create and maintain healthy relationships, such as how to manage feelings and how to communicate in a healthy way.
If you are teen and are part of an abusive relationship, call the National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline for help at 1-866-331-9474.
About Oklahoma City Indian Clinic
Oklahoma City Indian Clinic was established in 1974 to provide excellent health care and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma. The clinic staff cares for more than 18,000 patients from over 200 federally recognized tribes every year. American Indians can receive a range of services, including medical, dental, pediatrics, prenatal, pharmacy, optometry, physical fitness, nutrition, family programs and behavioral health services. For more information, please call (405) 948-4900 or visit www.okcic.com.