Teen dating violence is the physical, sexual, or psychological/emotional violence in a dating relationship.
Although this problem is called 'teen dating violence' our focus is not just on teenagers but also on tweens
(11 and 12 year olds) as well as young adults in their early twenties. This form of relationship violence
is distinguished from people who are married or generally have greater experience in dating relationships.
This disinction is important because people with relatively little dating experience will have greater difficulty
knowing if some aspects of a relationship are "normal" or not.
Although physical or sexual abuse in a dating
relationship is fairly easy to define and identify, other forms of abuse like emotional or psychological abuse
are not as easy to explain because they depend a great deal on context.
This nuanced aspect of dating abuse is one aspect of
what makes it difficult to teach young people about what is - and what isn't - healthy or acceptable. However,
this contextual component is also what makes our use of video games an ideal solution.
The majority of the video games on JAGga.me
focus on teen dating violence and come from an annual video game design contest sponsored by
Jennifer Ann's Group, the sponsor of JAGga.me. The Life.Love. Game Design Challenge
has been rewarding video game developers for producing video games
about teen dating violence since 2008.
Changing attitudes about teen dating violence and increasing awareness is critical to preventing future abuse.
Teen dating violence has been shown to be linked to a number of unhealthy behaviors including:
Increased alcohol and drug use.
Teen girls are six times more likely to become pregnant.
Greater chance of eating disorders, self harm, and suicidal ideation.
Dropping out of school.
Greatly increased chance of being in an abusive relationship as an adult,
contributing to a cycle of domestic violence.
Jennifer Ann's Group produces video games as an effective tool to prevent dating violence through awareness,
education, and advocacy. To learn more about the history of Jennifer Ann's Group's and its other programs
designed to prevent teen dating violence visit JenniferAnn.org.
Jennifer Ann's Group has also conducted its own research (2016) into the effectiveness of their games.
Their findings show that the majority of participants showed a change in attitude about negative relationship
beliefs in only 20 - 45 minutes. This research has not yet been published but once it is this will
be updated with a link to the publication. Please sign up to be notified
of this and other items of interest regarding the efforts of Jennifer Ann's Group.
JAGga.me is presented by Jennifer Ann's Group as a portal for
video games addressing emotional health and wellness issues affecting teenagers,
including teen dating violence, bullying, and suicide prevention.