Teen Dating Violence

Dating Violence Statistics

  • 1 out of every 4 high school students and 1 out of 3 college students experience dating violence
  • (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control, 2002).
  • Over half of murdered women are killed by husbands or boyfriends. 10% of these women are under 18 years old. (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Statistics, 2002).
  • Nearly 80% of people who have been physically abused in their intimate relationships continue to date their abuser. (City of New York, Teen Relationship Abuse Fact Sheet, March 1998).
Abuse and sexual violence happen to all types of people in all types of relationships: people can be wealthy or poor; abuse can occur regardless of race; assaults occur between people of the same sex; violence happens between people who hold positions within their church and even in law enforcement.

What is Dating Violence?

Dating Violence is not about being angry or having arguments. Dating violence causes one person to be afraid of and intimidated by the other. Teen dating violence is a pattern of controlling behavior that someone uses against a girlfriend or boyfriend. It is a form of abuse.

No Relationship is Perfect. What Makes it Abuse?

Dating Violence occurs when a person feels that they need to maintain power and control over their partner. The relationship is no longer equal - behavior is used to keep the other person "in check."

What Types of Behavior Are Abusive?

Many difference kinds of behavior: none show respect or love -- and none are present in healthy relationships:


Kicking, punching, shoving, slapping, pushing, scratching, choking, pulling hair, disrespectful touching.

Use strength to intimidate or threaten you - blocking your way, throwing things, hitting the wall, slamming a door, destroying objects

Emotional & Verbal Abuse

  • Intimidating you or scaring you with looks or actions
  • Insulting you or putting you down, either in front of others, or alone
  • Not letting you spend time with other friends, family, or activities
  • Blaming you for what they do to you
  • Threatening to spread rumors or blackmail you to get you to do something
  • Threatening to hurt or kill you or someone you know, or commit suicide if you break up

Psychological Abuse

  • Minimizing or denying what happened: saying that you are exaggerating, or making it up
  • Switching how they act so much that you feel confused or as if you are "going crazy"
  • Acting mean only when you are alone, charming when others are around

Financial Abuse

  • Controlling all of the money and possessions (car, cell phone, jewelry, clothes
  • Not allowing you to get or keep a job

Sexual Abuse

  • Calling you sexual names, criticizing your body parts
  • Wanting sex after fighting, acting indifferent during sex, having painful or unsafe sex
  • Coercing you to have sex by threatening to get a new girlfriend/boyfriend
  • Force or pressure you into sexual acts, including rape

Love: Nurturing or Addictive??

  • Your relationship fits into your usual way of life, or
    You can't survive without the other person
  • Sometimes you see things differently and you feel safe talking about it, or
    You need your partner to approve of everything you think or do
  • You can spend time alone, or with your friends, or
    You can't get enough of the other person
  • You survive your first disagreement, or
    You can't make decisions by yourself
  • You feel good about yourself even when you're not together, or
    You feel threatened or desperate unless you're with the other person
Warning: relationships built on addictive love are most at risk of becoming abusive!