Research shows that one in three teens will be abused by a dating partner.
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Despite the prevalence of this problem, few parents are discussing the topic with their children. In fact, according to Mary Kay’s recent “Don’t Look Away” survey, three out of four parents have never had a conversation about domestic violence with their children.
“It’s our hope that by removing the awkward feelings between parents and teens about this topic, we’ll be able to provide education and support for young people and stop the cycle of abuse before it starts.”
Through a national day of conversation and awareness called NO MORE Silence: It’s Time To Talk Day, Mary Kay Inc. and Break the Cycle, a national organization specializing in teen dating abuse prevention, are working to help parents talk with their teens in partnership with Verizon. The first-of-its-kind event is focused on educating parents, mentors, youth advocates and others to start talking to teens about healthy dating relationships and encouraging them to make this issue a priority not only during February, National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, but throughout the year.
“Mary Kay believes everyone deserves a safe and healthy relationship,” said Jill Wedding, Director of Marketing for Mary Kay Inc. “As a mother of a teenage daughter, I know personally how important it is to give parents and teens the support they need through programs like ‘It’s Time to Talk Day.’ By understanding what healthy dating relationships should look like, we are helping end dating violence as part of Mary Kay’s ongoing commitment to build awareness around dating abuse.”
Olympic Gold Medalist and Mary Kay cause champion Jordyn Wieber, alongside her mother Rita Wieber and a number of celebrities, supporters and advocates, heard from a panel of experts about available resources to help the hundreds of parents and teens in attendance begin the conversation at the talk-a-thon event in New York’s Times Square to help save the lives of countless teens.
Mary Kay has a long history of supporting the prevention of domestic abuse. As part of their “Don’t Look Away” campaign, Mary Kay granted $1 million to loveisrespect to support the nation’s first and only dating abuse text message helpline. By simply texting “loveis” to 22522 texters are connected in a safe and anonymous way with a peer-trained advocate to provide support and information on healthy dating relationships. Additionally, The Mary Kay FoundationSMprovides an annual grant program which has donated $34 million to domestic violence organizations since 2000 to help maintain critical services and programs for women, teens and children who are survivors of domestic violence or dating abuse.
“Talking with your teen about the importance of a healthy dating relationship could save their life,” said Darlene Kiyan, Executive Director of Break the Cycle. “It’s our hope that by removing the awkward feelings between parents and teens about this topic, we’ll be able to provide education and support for young people and stop the cycle of abuse before it starts.”
Anyone can get involved by simply pledging to talk to someone – be it their own child, a teacher, co-worker or friend – about healthy relationships on February 4th by visiting www.itstimetotalkday.org to get free tips and tools. When participants pledge to talk online their conversation will be added to the conversation count.