ONE: COMMUNICATE– Start talking to your teen well before they start dating. 72% of 7th graders report they are dating.

TWO: LEAD BY EXAMPLE– Teen’s primary influence about dating is what they learn at home.

THREE: PAY ATTENTION– The second biggest dating influence is what your teen sees on TV, movies, music, video games and social media. This is a great opportunity to start a conversation about the difference between healthy and unhealthy dating. Approach communication through curiosity.

FOUR: STAY CONNECTED– Teens with high self-esteem are less likely to experience dating abuse. Look for activities that strengthen self-respect and empathy for others.

FIVE: JOIN THE CONVERSATION– Contact your teen’s principal today to express why you believe dating abuse prevention is essential. 87% of dating abuse occurs on SCHOOL GROUNDS.

ONE in THREE teens in Santa Barbara are experiencing physical, emotional, verbal, sexual, or digital abuse from a dating partner” says Christy Haynes MA, Psy, Founder of What is LOVE. “Talking about dating is not an easy topic to discuss with teens and as many as 80% of parents don’t know where to start. That’s where What is LOVE can help. We have a variety of proven programs and materials that can support this We train school administrators and staff, we offer workshops for parents, and we provide community outreach materials to help teens throughout the country.”

What is LOVE has been actively providing educational school-based programs for more than two decades, and has partnered with educators in Santa Barbara County and researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara to measure the program’s effectiveness. Since 2009, the What is LOVE program has reached 33,292 teens:

96% reported an increased knowledge and understanding of dating violence
82% reported they know how to find resources and would get help for an abusive relationships Which has led to a 300% increase in teens asking for HELP.

-Excessive Texting
-Depression or anxiety
-Stops activities they enjoy
-Dating partner is extremely jealous
-Dressing differently
-Stops spending time with friends
-Decrease in grades & attendance

-How are things going?
-What are your friends’ dating relationships like?
-Why do you think someone would abuse someone they were dating?
-How do you know a relationship is healthy?
-How is your relationship going?

Christy Haynes, Founder