The following article is part one of a four-week series focusing on raising awareness about dating violence. February is Dating Violence Awareness month and we hope to educate our community on this very important issue. 1 in 3 young people will experience dating violence in their lifetime. Locally, the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center has been serving victims of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and child abuse since 1978. Last year, HCWC served 2,023 victims of abuse (face-to-face) primarily from Hays and Caldwell Counties.
Kiara Nicholson, Primary Prevention Coordinator for HCWC
Dating Violence Awareness Month in February is a national effort to raise awareness about the impacts of dating abuse and encourage communities to support teens and young adults in seeking healthy relationships.
Though these conversations are important to have year-round, February gives people the opportunity to shine a light on dating abuse and inspire conversations about healthy relationships in order to stop violence before it starts. How will your community members take action to prevent dating violence?
Ways You Can Take Action
One in three young people will experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with.
Everyone deserves a healthy relationship. Here are 4 ways someone can take action to prevent dating violence and promote healthy relationships this February:
- Participate in Wear Orange Day on Tuesday, February 9th to raise awareness about dating violence and promote healthy relationships. Post a picture of you in your orange on social media and include statistics, relationship red flags and green flags (you can find information on our educational website: stopthehurt.org) or finish the statement “I Wear Orange Because…”.
- Take the #WhatAboutLove pledge to end dating violence: you can find the pledge to sign digitally on stopthehurt.org/pledge. Share the pledge on social media to encourage other to do the same. Don’t forget to use #WhatAboutLove and #StopTheHurt!
- Spread awareness about relationship abuse. Have conversations about healthy and unhealthy behaviors in relationships, share resources, empower teens and young adults with information to build healthier relationships. Let others know that everyone deserves safe, healthy, happy relationships.
- Get Involved. Donate items or money, request a presentation, sign up for our e-newsletter for the latest information on ways you can support local survivors of abuse. Another unique opportunity this year is to talk to your legislator and let them know you support full funding and support for victims of abuse. You can find more information at hcwc.org/get-involved.
HCWC is committed to providing free, safe and confidential services to victims of dating violence. If someone is experiencing dating violence, please call their HELPLine 24/7 at 512-396-4357.
For counseling, due to COVID-19, they are currently providing phone and remote services for adults and youth who have experienced dating violence and live, work or go to school in Hays or Caldwell county.