Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Published: Feb. 13, 2017 at 10:47 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Just ahead of Valentine's Day advocates at Domestic Abuse Intervention Services are reminding teens and parents to talk about healthy relationships.

Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, or DAIS, in Dane County says nearly one in three teens has or will experience violence in a relationship.

DAIS travels to high schools and teach relationship seminars. They say one thing they stress while talking to teens is that they must set their own boundaries in relationships and decide what's healthy and what's not okay.

"If we're setting boundaries for them it doesn't always work but helping them figure out what do I feel comfortable with, what's comfortable in my position, which might be totally different from the person sitting next to them," Prevention and Education Advocate for DAIS, Aly Jarocki, says.

They say it's also important to talk to teens about healthy online relationships. Again, they say it's important for teens to make their own rules about what is healthy in a relationship.

"Is it healthy to share your password with your partner? Is it healthy to text all night long? How do we talk about setting boundaries with teens in a way that's healthy, how are we encouraging them to figure out what feels comfortable," Jarocki says.

Talking to teens about what they see on television and in movies is also a proactive way to talk about relationships Jarocki says.

Advocates at DAIS also encourage parents to take potential problems in seemingly not-so-serious teen relationships very seriously and keep an open line of communication with teens about their relationships.

If you or someone you know is experiencing violence in a relationship DAIS has a 24-hour help line: (608) 251-4445. There is also a national texting helpline. Just text "loveis" that's "love is," one word, to 22522.