In honor of Teen Dating Violence Awareness month in February, members of the Wilton Police Department are wearing orange ribbons.

According to a 2013 Connecticut School Health Survey, one in four teens experienced dating abuse. Results from the survey indicate that in that year approximately:

 26 percent of Connecticut high school students had been in a verbally or emotionally abusive dating relationship;

 9 percent were in a physically abusive dating relationship; and

 11 percent were in a sexually abusive relationship.

Girls are particularly vulnerable to experiencing violence in their relationships and are more likely to suffer long-term behavioral and health consequences, including suicide attempts, eating disorders, and drug use.

Adolescents in abusive relationships often carry these unhealthy patterns of violence into future relationships. Children who are victimized or witness violence frequently bring this experience with them to the playground, the classroom, later into teen relationships and, ultimately, they can end up the victims and perpetrators of adult intimate partner violence.

For assistance with teen dating violence contact the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence Helpline at 1-888-774-2900.