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Engaging Youth Online

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month. Tweens, teens, and young adults engage in relationships - these can be simple or complex, fulfilling or frustrating, and sometimes dangerous. When working to promote healthy, positive relationships for youth we must create strategies that address physical, emotional, sexual, and digital forms of abuse.

Many preventionists are already doing great social change work in schools. We can amplify our prevention impact by giving youth fun, online resources that they can explore on their own. Check out these sites below where teens can read, reflect, and ask questions related to creating healthy relationships and healthy sexuality.

Healthy Sexuality & Sex Education

Developing our own sexual identity and determining our healthy boundaries, rights, and practices are takes a lot of work. In order to prevent sexual violence, we need to know what the better and healthier alternatives to violence looks like. Do you have questions about sex, contraception, relationships, and consent?

sex, etc.

For sex education information and health resources, try Sex, Etc.. Here are some of the great features:

  • Glossary of terms. It's a dictionary of sexual terms -- both medical and social.
  • Get help preparing to talk about sex, pregnancy, STDs, or coming out to a parent, friend, partner, trusted adult, or healthcare providers. These are tough conversations; get some practice and talking points!
  • What are your rights? Find state specific laws related to sex, age of consent, emergency contraception, and much more.
  • Forums. Ask questions, get answers. It's that easy!
  • It's serious stuff, but can be fun too. Try the condom game, read the teen written Sex, Etc. magazine, and the LOL tumblr.

For honest and thorough answers about sex, dating, body image, sexuality dynamics, and so much more, try Scarleteen. Here are some of the great features:


Healthy Relationships

love is respect org

It takes time and skills to develop healthy and safe relationships. A good place to start is Love is Respect. Here are some of the great features:

Digital Relationships

Relationships have an online presence. So what do you need to know about texting, sexting, harassment, digital red flags, cyberbullying, and online communication?

thats not cool . com

For younger youth, try That's Not Cool. Here are some of the great features:

  • Talk It Out Forum. Teens can ask questions and get real responses related to textual harassment, rumors, how to help friends, picture pressure, privacy, and communication. Plus they can get connected to help for themselves if they are concerned about red flags in their relationship.
  • Callout Cards. Print, post, share, or send these colorful cards to start talking about what you want and don't want in a relationship.
  • Games!! Who says video games can't be teaching tools? There are two fun interactive ways for teens to think about their digital rights and boundaries.

a thin line

For older youth, try A Thin Line. Here are some of the great features:

  • Get the facts. These pages help you get the facts, ask yourself some good questions, consider the impact and consequences, and then draw your digital line. Find out more about sexting, constant messaging, spying, and digital disrespect.
  • Take the quiz to assess your knowledge of digital drama and boundaries.
  • Digital Rights Project. Learn what other teens think are the basic digital rights and then post your own. You can map out stories of action too.

Want More?

Interested to learn more about teen dating violence? Check out our page on raising awareness of teen dating violence.

Reviewed: April 19th, 2016