Texas Council on Family Violence Kicks Off Campaign Called “Young Hearts Matter” to Raise Awareness During Teen Dating Abuse Awareness Month in February

TCFV recognizes The Corpus Christi School District & the Prevention & Education Program of Women’s Shelter of South Texas


Corpus Christi, Texas – Today, a day before Valentine’s Day, the Texas Council on Family Violence is launching Young Hearts Matter, a campaign to bring awareness to teen dating abuse. February is National Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month. Teen dating abuse happens in every school across Texas and the United States.

Events and programs to raise awareness allow students to come forward and get advice and help before a situation escalates to violent behavior. In today’s environment, technology like social media and texting, can make it easy for teens and young adults communicate, but it can also make it easy for a dating partner to use technology to harass, control and abuse their boyfriend or girlfriend. The Texas Council on Family Violence is working to make sure students are engaged, educated and empowered to know their rights and know when they are involved in healthy and unhealthy dating relationships.

TCFV is recognizing outstanding efforts to educate students about teen dating violence. Today, TCFV thanked The Women’s Shelter of South Texas for leading the way in creating a successful Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month curriculum.

Educators from the Women’s Shelter of South Texas conduct an eight- week curriculum with teens called “Moving Up-Stream.” Each session focuses on a topic such as: addressing and defining social norms, exploring the concept of gender, positive and negatives of music, aggressive, passive and assertive communication, defining sexual harassment, exploring power differences and individual responsibility, defining consent, and exploring bystander behavior.

“The Women’s Shelter of South Texas is pleased to partner with the Texas Council on Family Violence and the communities we serve to recognize February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and the importance of prevention,” said Frances Wilson, President and CEO of the Women’s Shelter of South Texas. “Prevention is a means to the literal end of the attitudes that support violence against women. Prevention represents the hope for our future and for the generations to come.”

This month, students in schools across Texas with the help of domestic violence service providers, school districts and TCFV are getting involved in campaigns in their schools to help identify the signs of an unhealthy relationship and help students know their dating rights. Dating abuse takes place when a person physically, sexually, verbally or emotionally abuses another person in the context of a dating or romantic relationship and when one or both of them is a minor.

“The hearts of the young people in our lives are precious. Teen dating violence is an urgent and silent problem across Texas,” said TCFV CEO Gloria Terry. “We are getting our sons and daughters involved in raising awareness at an early age in hopes that they will never experience or perpetuate violence. We are thrilled to be working with local programs, school districts and student leaders across Texas who are coming up with many innovative ways to educate their peers in their schools. The Texas Council on Family Violence is also thrilled to recognize Frances Wilson, President and CEO of the Women’s Shelter of South Texas, and her entire team for their outstanding work raising awareness in the Corpus Christi School District.”

Teen Dating Violence looks many ways, but can involve: put-downs, extreme demands on time, intimidation, isolation, constant texting, stalking, and physical injury. Teen Dating Abuse can also involve forced sex, forced pregnancy, threats of violence, suicide, stalking and murder.

Statistics in a statewide survey show that 75% of 16 to 24 year old Texans have either personally experienced dating violence or know someone who has experienced it. According to a recent study, between 42% and 87% of dating violence occurs in a school building or on school grounds, with the highest occurrences in rural areas.

Schools in Texas can help teens lay the foundation for making good dating decisions while they are in school by applying a whole-school approach to end the violence happening on school grounds, making their dating abuse policies clear and implementing them, training faculty and staff to recognize and respond to the signs, educating youth to support behavioral change and by observing Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month every February. Click on link to download Young Hearts Matter materials.



Texas Council on Family Violence is a statewide organization representing a network of domestic violence programs that provide direct services to victims and their families, and serves as the voice of victims at the state level while working with local communities to create strategies to prevent family violence. Visit us online at http://www.tcfv.org/
The Women’s Shelter of South Texas provides vital and often-times lifesaving services to clients. The agency is the only private, 501(c)(3) non-profit in South Texas to provide free services to adult and child victims of domestic violence and sexual assault across a twelve-county service area including Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, McMullen, Nueces, Refugio, and San Patricio counties. Established in 1978, the shelter served 74 individuals. In comparison last year, the Women’s Shelter of South Texas provided services to 2,523 victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and their children. The Prevention and Education Department was established in 2007 to meet the need in the community of ending violence before it ever starts. http://www.thewomensshelter.org