A February Challenge That Can Make a Difference

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

We may think we don't need to know about dating violence, but we do.

We have posted so many resources and statistics on our website for you. Go to our home page www.5things.us and click on the tab "National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month". There are statistics, resources, quizzes, polls, real stories from girls I know, and a recommended movie to watch for a discussion starter.

Why not gather a group of girls you know this month and watch the movie, or go over some stats, or just ask some questions? Get a conversation started. Because I've discovered, once someone starts the conversation, needed things happen.

Let's be there for our girls.


Can Your BF Pass This Quiz?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Can Your BF Pass this Quiz?

Stop Teen Abuse Credit: Carey Hope
"He's so dreamy, so nice, so thoughtful."

Then over time, he begins to do some things that make you a little uncomfortable, but maybe, you think, it's just a bad day? You find yourself thinking, "Maybe I did something wrong to cause it? Surely that won't be normal."

You find yourself explaining him to people...

"It's kinda sweet, he always wants to know where I am and who I'm with. He really cares... kinda romantic!"

"He just doesn't like my friends that much, I mean, he likes them I guess, but he'd rather not hang out with them. That's ok.... I guess."

Do you ever wonder about some things your boyfriend does? Is it normal?

There are a couple of great websites to help answer that question.

One is www.loveisrespect.org. This website is FULL of info, resources, quizzes, help for teens and parents, and even a text-in peer advocate line.

If you want to take the quiz to see if you are in a healthy relationship, click here: Healthy Relationship Quiz

Another great source- Here is a checklist from www.stayteen.org


Sometimes it can be almost impossible to look at your relationship objectively. But if you’re concerned that your partner is abusive, your instincts are probably right. Go through our dating abuse checklist and see if your partner has said or done any of the things below. Can you answer agree with some or many of the statements below? If so, it’s time to think about getting help and getting out.
  • My partner teases me in ways that hurt my feelings.
  • My partner calls me mean names like "stupid" or "fat" or “worthless”.
  • My partner acts jealous of the time I spend with friends, family, or people I’m in class with.
  • My partner gets angry about the clothes I wear or how I style my hair or they try to control how I look.
  • My partner checks up on me by calling, driving by my house, or getting someone else to call/drive by my house.
  • My partner always wants to know who I talk to on the phone or who I’ve texted.
  • My partner says it’s my fault when they have a bad day or are in a bad mood.
  • My partner throws or destroys things when angry.
  • My partner hits walls, drives dangerously, or does other things that scare me.
  • My partner drinks excessively or uses drugs.
  • My partner insists that I drink or use drugs whenever they do.
  • My partner often accuses me of cheating or of being into other people.
  • My partner doesn’t respect my privacy (he/she reads my email, goes through my personal things, demands access to my desk/locker, insists on seeing my text message history).
  • My partner has threatened to hurt me.
  • My partner has threatened to commit suicide if I leave.
  • My partner has intentionally hit, kicked, slapped, punched, or otherwise hurt me.
  • My partner has given me visible bruises, welts, or cuts.
  • My partner forces me to go further sexually than I want to.
  • My partner is mean to me in front of other people, but sweet, kind, and apologetic when we’re alone.
  • My friends have told me they worry about me because of my partner/ think my partner is abusive.
Talk to a parent or adult today. Get someone else's opinion. Be honest with them. You deserve to be treated with respect.

You can call or text this Hotline- 24 hours a day. Seven days a week.

Text "loveis" to 77054. Or call 1-866-331-9474


Surely It Won't Happen To Anyone I Know

Each February for the last few years I have dedicated my efforts to National Dating Violence Awareness Month. This started kind of on accident.

A group of high school girls and I were having regular meetings one year, when the TV channel Lifetime came out with a movie about dating violence, to increase awareness and discussion. This movie is called "Reviving Ophelia", based on a book I had read, so I figured we may as well watch it.

Well, as I've discovered, once discussion is opened, there is more going on than meets the eye. The movie does a good job in showing early warning signs of unhealthy relationships before someone escalates to violence. A couple of girls recognized early behaviors in the movie character that looked a lot like people they dated. I was surprised that we had hit on a need just among the small group of girls I knew, therefore I knew this had to be an ongoing topic of awareness.

Each year, I've heard at least 1, sometimes 2, 3 and 4, instances of someone I know who has experienced either unhealthy dating relationships or violence. When we start talking, so do others. It is a conversation we have to have with our kids, girls and boys alike. There are stories of boys who have had abusive behavior coming from girls.

This conversation we must have is also about healthy and unhealthy relationships, how to recognize early signs of abusive behavior before physical violence takes place. There are many warning signs of abusive people that manifest before physical violence takes place.

There are things we can educate ourselves on- patterns and behaviors of dating partners that are not healthy. If we can recognize those early enough, maybe we can help people get out of unhealthy relationships before worse things happen.

Other times we are victims of dating violence with no warning, which is devastating. In those situations, there has to be support, conversation, and understanding to help girls recover.

There is so much to share on the subject. A good beginning is to share this link. President Obama has declared February National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and is making a special effort to decrease violence among college students, where it is so prevalent. You can read this on the link below.


Www.loveisrespect.org is a wonderful resource for advice, quizzes to find out if your relationship is healthy, educational information, promotional materials, as well as how to get help for those in questionable relationships.

I also recommend watching the movie "Reviving Ophelia" with high schoolers and older. Watch it first yourself for content so you can decide on appropriate ages to view it. The movie can be purchased online with a quick google search. It can be found on www.mylifetime.com and even has a study guide that can be downloaded for discussion points.

Get educated. Get help for yourself or for a friend. Be aware so you know what to watch for. Spread the word.

It's so important.