Love Like That: National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in Mecklenburg County

A white heart with the words February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month with an ornage background

One in three young people in the United States experiences abuse by a dating partner. In an average Mecklenburg County classroom, that’s more than 10 students.

At its regular meeting on Feb. 20, the Board of County Commissioners proclaimed February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in Mecklenburg County. Recognizing Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month honors the experiences of teens in our community, amplifies the message that teens deserve healthy relationships, and highlights resources available to support teens who are experiencing unhealthy or abusive relationships. This year’s theme, “Love Like That,” is intended to uplift positive, healthy relationships by defining what “that” looks like and reinforcing that everyone deserves to be loved, respected, and valued.  

Community Support Services’ (CSS) Prevention and Intervention Division encourages the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community to help raise awareness of teen dating violence and share the value of respect in relationships. In October 2023, CSS released a report containing wide-ranging data about intimate partner violence in the community, including that against teens, which serves as a reminder that behind every number is a person with a story.  

The report also provided a snapshot of teens reached through CSS’s “LoveSpeaksOut” program. LoveSpeaksOut is a research-informed teen dating violence prevention program that aims to ensure a future where no one is victim of intimate partner violence. The program, which provides dynamic and engaging presentations to teens in community settings and health classes, reached more than 24,000 youth between 2018 and 2022.  

CSS also hosts the Domestic Violence Speakers Bureau, a group of volunteers and domestic violence survivors who educate the community about domestic violence through dynamic presentations and storytelling. The DVSB is a community partnership between Prevention and Intervention Services and Safe Alliance.  

Any Mecklenburg County resident who would like more information on LoveSpeaksOut or the Domestic Violence Speakers Bureau can visit or email [email protected].