February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (TDVAM). This annual, month-long effort is dedicated to raising awareness about the pressing issue of teen dating violence across the nation. As advocates for healthy relationships, we at Goodman Jewish Family Services strive to shed light on this epidemic and empower young adults to build relationships founded on respect, growth, and success.

The Reality of Teen Dating Violence:

Teen dating violence is a form of intimate partner violence that occurs between young adults currently or previously in a relationship. This serious problem is pervasive in the United States, with statistics revealing its disturbing prevalence:

  • 1 in 3 adolescents in the U.S. falls victim to physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner.
  • Shockingly, 1 in 10 high school students has experienced purposeful physical harm from a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Disturbingly, 80% of girls who face physical abuse continue to date their abuser after the violence begins.
  • Violent behavior typically starts between the ages of 12 and 18, affecting nearly 81% of high school students nationwide in a single year.

Understanding the Forms of Dating Violence:

Dating violence manifests in various forms, including physical violence, sexual abuse/coercion, psychological abuse, stalking, financial abuse, reproductive coercion and technological/digital abuse. It can occur in person, online, or through technology, leaving a lasting impact on the overall wellbeing and mental health of the individuals involved.

Empowering Through Education:

At Goodman JFS, we believe in the power of education and information to prevent teen dating violence. Our programs aim to provide teens with the knowledge and skills necessary to identify unhealthy and abusive relationships, promoting individual growth, respect, and success.

Take Action: Join Our Workshops:

Through our Domestic Abuse Program, we offer free workshops and community presentations to both teens and adults in the community. We regularly give community presentations to schools, corporations, clubs, temples and civic groups in order to raise awareness and educate audiences about domestic abuse. Participants learn warning signs, prevention strategies and about resources available to help. Additionally, our “Your Voice – Your Choice: Dating Interactive Workshops” offers adolescents and young adults in Broward County the knowledge and resources to understand what constitutes a healthy relationship. These workshops empower teens to speak up and find their voices against abuse before it starts.

If you are passionate about creating a positive change in your community and are interested in hosting a workshop, please contact our Domestic Abuse Manager, Dr. Thalia Rydz, at 954-909-0796.

Dr. Thalia Rydz has worked with survivors of domestic abuse since the beginning of her career in 2012. She received her Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University and her Masters in Social Work from Barry University. She is a licensed clinical worker and hopes to utilize her education, training, and experience to break the cycle of abuse that is so prevalent in our community.