Blending parenthood and work roles is often challenging. A culture of support helps when teen dating adds stress to work and home life. Many of today’s employers recognize this. An annual list of the top 100 best companies is available for executive mothers seeking employers that support the blend of work and parent roles. Businesses that recognize parenthood is a non-gender role, as well as an 18+ year job offer support programs, peer coaches, and a platform of resources.

Stress is reduced when the workplace culture embraces how we are all responsible for guiding and protecting our youth from any type of violence. We all have a direct and indirect influence on parents, mentors and educators working to reduce teen dating violence. Organizations with a mission to reduce violence and abuse recognize this. Kids are consistently at risk of becoming a partner in an unhealthy relationship that leads to abuse.

Combined effort in work and home cultures will reduce teen dating abuse.

1 in 3 adolescents is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner. First experiences of dating abuse in males between 11 and 17 years of age is 14% and females at 23%. There has been no mention about teen dating violence in 65.5% households.

When physical abuse is suspected the teen may be in danger. Love is respect has a national hotline: 1-866-331-9474, or chat at loveisrespect.org or text “loveis” to 22522. Each of these resources are available around the clock, every day of the year.

Below are tools to initiate a workplace support program.

  1. Bring in an expert. Find a local organization that provides workshops or presentations on teen dating violence. Ask your employer to host an expert. Center for Women in Transition and Peace over Violence are two organizations we have partnered with that offer such workshops.
  2. Peak awareness in the school system. Start Strong has acquired many resources in support of their mission to building healthy teen relationships. Here’s a list of their resources that may be shared with school authorities.
  3. Share a video on dating abuse. A video is a soft opening to start a conversation about the urgency to bring in an expert on teen dating abuse or offer group support in the workplace. The videos below were created to begin the discussion.  
  4. A company actively supporting employees. This Mary Kay commercial about Love is Respect’s campaign shares signs of abuse and their national hotline number. Mary Kay sets a corporate example of culture awareness that actively supports their employees and their customers.

Be a peer coach supporting colleagues with teens.

Workplaces often offer a noon series for their employees. The following resources may become an excellent interactive discussion around teen dating abuse. Quizzes, games, posters, and reading materials diversify ways to keep the conversation going plus identify what a healthy, unhealthy, or abusive a relationship is.

Love is Respect is a good starting point with their quizzes and downloads. Cool Not Cool has this interactive game that quizzes middle schoolers but may also be used as a tool to lead a lively adult discussion. Workplace seeking to divide the daily, heavy weight of work with humor, these games and quizzes were created to share information about abuse with middle and high schoolers with some ease.

See where a relationship is on a spectrum. Love is Respect has a Relationship Spectrum tool to gauge how healthy, unhealthy, or abusive it may be. This resource acknowledges what type of a relationship your teen may be in for adults or teens to gauge the level of professional help or a culture of support they need.

Recognize patterns of abuse. Love is Respect created the universally used Power and Control wheel into an interactive tool. A productive conversation about the different types of abuse and examples of each clarifies when power and control is used over another person. It also empowers awareness and ownership to be responsible by creating a culture of support.