Teen FOCUS for February

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.  The problem of dating violence gets worse every year and we are thankful for the awareness that the government is giving to this devastating and sinful epidemic.  And yes, I know that we are still in January, but my oh my doesn’t time fly.  So please consider this post an introduction to a program designed, owned and operated by FOCUS Ministries.  It’s called Teen FOCUS.

Here are 11 Hard Facts about teen dating violence from dosomething.org.  This is why we do what we do…

Roughly 1.5 million high school boys and girls in the U.S. admit to being intentionally hit or physically harmed in the last year by someone they are romantically involved with.

Teens who suffer dating abuse are subject to long-term consequences like alcoholism, eating disorders, promiscuity, thoughts of suicide, and violent behavior.

1 in 3 young people will be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship.

33% of adolescents in America are victims of sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional dating abuse.

In the U.S., 25% of high school girls have been abused physically or sexually. Teen girls who are abused this way are 6 times more likely to become pregnant or contract a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Females between the ages of 16 and 24 are roughly 3 times more likely than the rest of the population to be abused by an intimate partner.

8 States in the U.S. do not consider a violent dating relationship domestic abuse. Therefore, adolescents, teens, and 20-somethings are unable to apply for a restraining order for protection from the abuser.

Violent behavior often begins between 6th and 12th grade. 72% of 13 and 14-year-olds are “dating.”

50% of young people who experience rape or physical or sexual abuse will attempt to commit suicide.

Only 1/3 of the teens who were involved in an abusive relationship confided in someone about the violence.

Teens who have been abused hesitate to seek help because they do not want to expose themselves or are unaware of the laws surrounding domestic violence.

Our president and founder, Paula Silva, has written a very effective curriculum to address the serious and growing problem of domestic abuse among teens.  This faith-based curriculum (which is actually available for purchase on our website) is perfectly suitable for teen small groups at church, in school health class or as part of a homeschool co-op group for young people.

We will be talking a lot about Teen FOCUS in the next month.  Let’s work together to help our teens discover what God’s design is for healthy relationships, how to spot “red flags” in a relationship and how to get out of it before it’s too late.  

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” says the Lord, “Thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

God’s plans are for goodness, for blessing, for a future that is free from abuse.

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