The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Skip the chocolate: Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month isn’t sweet

Skip the chocolate: Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month isnt sweet

February brings to mind love, chocolates, and bouquets of roses, making it the most romantic month of the year. But this month also stands as a time for possibly life-saving education about the dangers of dating. February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention month, commonly referred to as Teen DV month, and it’s the college-age population that is often at risk.

It’s hard to imagine anything as ugly as domestic violence occurring in the picturesque homes that surround campus, but domestic violence knows no racial, financial,or geographic bounds. Just a few streets away from SMU, a mother was strangled to death with a lamp cord during a domestic violence dispute less than two decades ago.

Stories like that are often told by teens, too. One in three young people will experience some form of dating violence, according to Break the Cycle, which works with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office to educate people on the prevalence of this specific type of violence.

Schools have worked hard to take care of teens who have been victims of dating violence, but reports that more than 80 percent of school counselors said they were unprepared to handle stories of abuse from students.

This past month, SMU-in-Plano hosted a Family Violence Symposium featuring writer Victor Rivas Rivers. He focused on men’s role in domestic violence.

That role was ingratiated into the minds of students who went on an Alternative Breaks trip that helped domestic violence survivors. Junior Jayce Miller said, “For little boys, having a negative influence of a dad can often push them down the wrong roads themselves.”

Dallas has led the country in starting the discussion on how men can stop the cycle of domestic violence. Mayor Rawlings played a large role in creating Dallas Men Against Abuse, where men can pledge to not only not partake in violence, but also to report others who may be hurting their families and to teach young people about the horrors of abuse.

Miller said this trip made him realize that abuse can happen to anyone and that mentoring kids makes a difference.

“We can give them goals to strive for the creating of a better tomorrow for everyone, especially victims,” said Miller.

More to Discover