February designated as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in Tennessee


The month of February is designated as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and
Wo/Men’s Resource and Rape Assistance Program, (WRAP) wants to promote healthy relationships among Chester County residents and let them know that WRAP is an available resource.
Though the month is for awareness of dating violence, WRAP Sexual Assault Coordinator Cindi Cotton wants to spread awareness of unhealthy relationships in general.
“We’re trying to raise awareness everywhere, because we know unhealthy relationships exist in every community,” she said. “it’s not so much dating violence awareness, but promoting healthy relationships.”
Cotton said that precautions taken to keep teens in healthy relationships include keeping communication going between parent and child and keeping in mind the person who may be committing the acts of violence or producing unhealthy relationships.
“When we think about unhealthy relationships, we think about the victim,” she said. “But I think it’s equally important to think about the other person; male or female.”
She encourages to keep them educated on the fact that everyone should be respected.
Though dating violence is seen more as an adult problem, Cotton wants everyone to take heed, adults and teens, that it can occur for teens as well.
WRAP is a resource for teens that may be experiencing dating harm just as much as they serve adults.
Unhealthy relationships can include everything to the more extreme act such as dating violence to other acts like controlling behavior, abusive language, constant questioning and more.
Those lesser acts can lead to bad situations, so Cotton encourages anyone to get seek help or get out of the relationship before the situations escalade.
“Sometimes they (teens) don’t realize how it’s impacting them. What we try to do is help teens realize it before things get bad.”
WRAP will be at Chester County High School during lunch period on tomorrow, Friday, February 7, to promote healthy relationships further and inform students of their resources if they might need them.
“Healthy relationships help our community. Everyone. Not just that relationship,” Cotton said.
For those needing to contact WRAP to help resolve dating violence issues or other concerns, you can reach them 24 hours at 1-800-273-8712.