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Teen Dating Violence

What is Teen Dating Violence?

Teen Dating Violence or Intimate Personal Violence in Teen Relationships is defined as “Behavior that is controlling, abusive, and aggressive toward one partner in a relationship. It can occur in any relationship, regardless of gender, race, class, age or in LGBT couples. The abuse can include verbal, emotional, sexual or physical; and can be a combination of any one or all of these.

Do you or a friend think you are in an abusive relationship?   Take the Quiz:


Too Common
Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.
One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Why Focus on Young People?
Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average.
Among female victims of intimate partner violence, 94% of those age 16-19 and 70% of those age 20-24 were victimized by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.
Violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18.
The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.

Don’t Forget About College Students
Nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors.
College students are not equipped to deal with dating abuse – 57% say it is difficult to identify and 58% say they don’t know how to help someone who’s experiencing it.
One in three (36%) dating college students has given a dating partner their computer, email or social network passwords and these students are more likely to experience digital dating abuse.
One in six (16%) college women has been sexually abused in a dating relationship.

Long-lasting Effects
Violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence.
Being physically or sexually abused makes teen girls six times more likely to become pregnant and twice as likely to get a STI.
Half of youth who have been victims of both dating violence and rape attempt suicide, compared to 12.5% of non-abused girls and 5.4% of non-abused boys.

Lack of Awareness
Only 33% of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse.
Eighty-one (81) percent of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue.
Though 82% of parents feel confident that they could recognize the signs if their child was experiencing dating abuse, a majority of parents (58%) could not correctly identify all the warning signs of abuse.

Teen Stats Courtesy of http://www.loveisrespect.org/resources/dating-violence-statistics/


Are you in an abusive relationship?

> Do you change your self/behavior due to your partner’s mood?

> Do you ever feel like you could say something wrong at any second that would make your partner mad, not matter what it is, even if you said it before?

> Not spend times with friends or participate in activities because your partner doesn’t want you to?

> Do you ever feel scared that your partner will get mad or hurt you?

Has your partner ever:

> Broken things when they are mad?

> Put you down, called you names or treat you badly in front of others?

> Looked through your purse, read your text messages or email?

> Sent you a text or called you constantly to ask where you are and with who?

> Encouraged you not to spend time with family?

> Constantly threatened to break up? Or worried about you leaving them?

> Have they been jealous, gotten angry and accused you of cheating?

> Blamed you if they yell at you or hurt you or that you provoked them?

> Forced you to have sex or perform sexual acts that you didn’t want to do?

> Threatened suicide?

> Threaten to harm your family, friends, animals or you?

Please look at the Love is Respect Power and Control Wheel

Unhealthy /Inequality Wheel. The wheel will show you ways that your partner can abuse their victims and manipulate you and others. Your relationship is unique to you, but all abusive relationships share similar traits.

These are all examples of very unhealthy relationships. You could be in danger and there is help and people who care. Don’t try to figure this out alone. Ask for help. If you do not feel safe telling a parent or adult, start with the hotline numbers listed below. There is help! You can call a hotline anonymously and talk to someone to help guide you through this very serious and scary time.

The Hotline is:   1-866-331-9474

Text Chat: LOVEIS TO 22522
Website: http://www.loveisrespect.org/

S.A.F.E. House Hotline 702-564-3227

Below are examples of what healthy relationships look like.

Basic Rights in a Relationship
From Patricia Evans’ The Verbally Abusive Relationship:

  • The right to emotional support
  • The right to be heard by the other and to respond
  • The right to have your own point of view, even if this differs from your partner’s
  • The right to have your feelings and experiences acknowledged as real
  • The right to live free from accusation and blame
  • The right to live free from criticism and judgment
  • The right to live free from emotional and physical threat
  • The right to live free from angry outbursts and rage
  • The right to be respectfully asked, rather than ordered

In addition to these basic relationship rights, consider how you can develop patience, honesty, kindness, and respect.

Patience: Patience is essential to a healthy relationship. There are times when others will respond to us in a way that is disappointing. When this occurs, it important to communicate our disappointment, but also to give the other person space.

Be willing to give the person some time to reflect, indicating that you are ready to talk when they are ready. If the person is never ready to discuss the situation, you may need professional help to resolve the issue, or ask yourself whether or not you want to continue the relationship.

Honesty: Honesty is another essential quality in healthy relationships. To build honesty in a relationship, you should communicate your feelings openly, and expect the other person to do the same. Over time, this builds trust.

Kindness: Kindness is extremely important to maintaining healthy relationships. You need to be considerate of others’ feelings and other people need to be considerate of yours. Be kind when you communicate. Kindness will nurture your relationships. Note that being kind does not necessarily mean being nice.

Respect: Respect is a cornerstone of all healthy relationships. If you don’t have respect for another person, it will have a negative impact on all of your interactions. Think of a time when you encountered someone who didn’t respect you. How did it feel? What are some ways that you show respect to others?



> You have the right to say no at any time to sex, to drugs/alcohol, to a relationship; even if you’ve said yes before.

> You have the right to hang out with your friends and family and do things you enjoy, without your partner getting jealous or controlling.

> You have the right to end a relationship that isn’t right or healthy for you.

> You have the right to live free from violence and abuse.


Important Numbers and Links and Support

Love is respect Hotline: 1-866-331-9474

Break the Cycle 202-824-0707

S.A.F.E. House  Hotline: 702-564-3227

Runaway Hotline
1-800-Runaway 786-2929

Internet Safety Alert

Your abuser can monitor the use of your computer and the Internet. Learn how to protect yourself.

CALL 9-1-1 If you are in immediate danger