ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — One in 12 high school students fall victim to either physical or sexual assault in their relationship with their partner.

February is “Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.”

Teen dating violence is a pattern of harmful, controlling behavior that an individual uses against their partner. Officials said that it is important to have an open mind with teens who may be experience dating violence.

“Teenagers won’t often bring up their concerns about unhealthy relationships or don’t realize they’re in an unhealthy relationship,” said Dr. Paula Cody, adolescent health expert with UW Health. “It’s important for health care providers to screen for healthy relationships with every medical visit with a teenager, and it’s also important for parents and guardians to have conversations with their teenagers about what constitutes a healthy vs. an unhealthy relationship.”

Doctors also ask parents and friends to pay attention to some of the warning signs, like isolating a teen from family and friends or the partner maybe being a little too controlling or possessive.

If you are a survivor of domestic or sexual violence, visit our Stateline Strong page for resources.