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February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month: AG Shows You What to Look For in Your Teen’s Dating Life

Jackson, Miss.- February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention month and Attorney General Jim Hood encourages parents to be aware of the widespread issue that can impact the lives of teens.

“Teen dating violence is one of the most devastating, but often hidden,
dangers that our young people face,” said Attorney General Hood. “For as
much as domestic violence among adults is an issue that is too often not
discussed, teen dating violence is even less discussed and less reported by
victims.”

Many teens do not report these acts because they are embarrassed or afraid
to tell friends and family.

Dating violence occurs between two people  in a relationship that becomes abusive. The effects of all teen datingnviolence reach beyond their formative years and can cause negative effects
that continue during adulthood. Both boys and girls can be victims of dating
violence, and both boys and girls can commit dating violence.

Physical abuse may include shoving, punching, slapping, pinching, hitting,
kicking, hair pulling or strangling. Verbal or emotional abuse may include
name calling, extreme jealousy, belittling you or threatening. Sexual abuse
may include unwanted touching and kissing or the force of unwanted sex or
other sexual conduct.

Because of the prevalence of dating violence, Attorney General Hood urges
everyone to know the warning signs in case someone you love becomes a
victim. Anyone who is being subjected to abuse in his or her relationship
may exhibit some of the following behaviors or signs:

.       Withdrawal from family or friends

.       Depression or mood swings

.       Unexplained injuries

.       Becoming fearful or anxious of their boyfriend/girlfriend’s
reactions

Attorney General Hood said violence is never acceptable, and teen dating
violence negatively impacts everyone. He said the his office is committed to
ending teen dating violence and educating our teens about healthy
relationships, with an ultimate goal to stop dating violence before it
starts — not just this month, but throughout the year.

For more information about Teen Dating Violence, or to download a free copy
of our Teen Dating Violence brochure, visit our Teen Dating Violence page at
www.agjimhood.com<http://www.agjimhood.com/>. The brochure explains what
dating violence is, how to know if you are in an abusive relationship and
want to do if you think you are in such an unhealthy relationship. You will
also find links to additional resources and anonymous teen dating violence
help lines.

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