Feb 9

Teen Dating Violence Awareness


Teen Dating Violence is defined as the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional aggression within a dating relationship, including stalking. It can occur in person or electronically and might occur between a current or former dating partner. Several different words are used to describe teen dating violence. Below are just a few:

• Relationship abuse

• Intimate partner violence

• Relationship violence

• Dating abuse

• Domestic abuse

• Domestic violence


Teens often think some behaviors, like teasing and name-calling, are a “normal” part of a relationship. However, these behaviors can become abusive and develop into more serious forms of violence. The 2017 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that 8 percent of high school students reported physical violence and 7 percent reported that they experienced sexual violence from a dating partner in the 12 months before the survey. A CDC Report found among victims of contact sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, about 26% of females and nearly 15% of males first experienced some form of violence by that partner before age 18.


Unhealthy, abusive, or violent relationships can have short- and long-term negative effects on a developing teen. Additionally, youth who are victims of dating violence in high school are at higher risk for victimization during college. Youth who experience dating violence are more likely to:

• Experience symptoms of depression and anxiety

• Engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as using tobacco, drugs, and alcohol

• Exhibit antisocial behaviors

• Think about suicide


Violence is related to certain risk factors. The risk of having unhealthy relationships increases for teens who:

• Believe that dating violence is acceptable

• Are depressed, anxious, or have other symptoms of trauma

• Display aggression towards peers or display other aggressive behaviors

• Use drugs or illegal substances

• Engage in early sexual activity and have multiple sexual partners

• Have a friend involved in teen dating violence

• Have conflicts with a partner

• Witness or experience violence in the home


Dating violence can be prevented when teens, families, organizations, and communities work together to implement effective prevention strategies.




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