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Dads’ Resource Center offers information and tips for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

STATE COLLEGE — February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to have a conversation about what it is and how we can help prevent it. Dads’ Resource Center is on a mission to make sure that fathers know they play an important role in helping to prevent teen dating violence. When Dad takes an active role, less teen dating violence happens, and for numerous reasons.

“One of the most fundamental elements of fatherhood involves a father being present to model what a man should be to his children,” said Dads’ Resource Center founder Dr. Joel N. Myers. “A son learns best how to live a life of integrity and accountability when he sees him embody these characteristics. Similarly, he learns to treat women with grace and dignity by seeing his father do the same. And a daughter is more likely to expect the men in her life to treat her with respect and dignity when she benefits from growing up with the respect, ongoing love and nurturance of her father.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teen dating violence affects millions of young people. It can include physical violence, sexual violence, psychological distress, and stalking. It can have a long-lasting impact on the child’s well-being.

The CDC also reports that 1 in 11 female and 1 in 14 male high school students have experienced physical dating violence in the last year. When it comes to sexual dating violence among high school students, 1 in 8 females have experienced it, as have 1 in 26 males.

Here are five ways that fathers help prevent dating violence:

— Be a role model. How you act toward women will greatly influence both how your son acts toward women and the norms your daughter develops about the men in her life. Always be respectful toward women.

— The connection between a father and his children is vital for them to develop their confidence and self-worth. Be supportive of your children and help them build up their resiliency and sense of self, which will make them better able to avoid, or deal with, these types of perilous situations.

— Talk to your children about setting appropriate boundaries with others. Help them to understand the lines they need to draw to protect themselves — physically, mentally, and emotionally.

— Educate yourself on dating abuse. Loveisrespect.org has good information on the different types of dating abuse.

— Have an ongoing discussion with your children about what is going on in their lives. This includes talking about routine things, because that keeps the lines of communication going so that you can talk to them about these kinds of issues and they feel they can talk to you about these sensitive things.

“So many issues that teens are impacted by are linked to the relationship the children have with their father,” explains Dads’ Resource Center Executive Director Jeff Steiner. “It’s important that fathers play a big role in the lives of their children, even more so after a divorce takes place. When they do this, the children will be far better off, and their well-being will be much more secure.”

Dads’ Resource Center was started by Dr. Myers, a father of eight and the founder and CEO of AccuWeather. The mission is to help combat the issues associated with children growing up without their fathers in the home. At its heart, the center is a child advocacy organization that aims to ensure that each child has the appropriate involvement and contributions from both parents.

Dads’ Resource Center has been established to benefit children of separated or divorced parents by advocating the importance of fathers having adequate opportunities to fulfill their role of fatherhood. The group helps get information regarding the issues out to the public and works with fathers to help make improvements. To get more information, visit the site at: https://dadsrc.org.

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