Teen Dating Violence


In sexual assaults reported to law enforcement, 67% of female victims and 88% of male victims were under age 18. (Howard Snyder and Melissa Sickmund Juvenile Offenders and Victims:2006 National Report, National Center for Juvenile Justice: March 2006)

15% of females and 6.5% of males under the age of 18 who were raped were raped by an intimate partner. (Patricia Tjaden and Nancy Thoennes Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey National Institute of Justice November 2000)

Teen dating violence runs across race, gender, and socioeconomic lines. Both males and females are victims, but boys and girls are abusive in different ways: Girls are more likely to yell, threaten to hurt themselves, pinch, slap, scratch, or kick Boys injure girls more severely and frequently Some teen victims experience violence occasionally and others are abused more often..sometimes daily. (Teen Victim Project, National Center for Victims of Crime, http://www.ncvc.org/tvp )

Approximately 1 in 5 female high school students report being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.

(Jay G. Silver man, Phd Anita Raj, PhD Lorelei A. Mucci, MPH and Jeanne E Hathaway, MD, MPH, Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidal, Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 286, No. 5, 2001)

Warning Signs for Teens

  • He tells you he cant live without you.
  • She blames you for her problems.
  • He breaks or hits things to intimidate you.
  • Your weight, appearance, or grades have changed dramatically since you started seeing this person.
  • He threatens to hurt himself or others if you break up with him.
  • The person you are dating acts jealously, says jealous things, or exhibits aggressive behaviors towards you.
  • He pressures you into having sex, or forces you to do sexual things you don’t want to do by saying, If you really loved me you would
  • She humiliates you and belittles your opinions.
  • The person you are dating slaps or shoves you in a seemingly playful way, but it happens often and doesn’t seem right.
  • He is jealous and possessive about the time you spend with your friends.
  • She is constantly checking up on you, and asking where you are and what you are doing.
  • The person you date has severe mood swings or constant bad moods.
  • She wants to limit your other school activities, so you can be together more.
  • You’re frightened of him and worry about how hell react to things you say or do.
  • He wants your relationship to get serious too quickly, and he refuses to take no for an answer.
  • They blame past bad relationships on everything or everybody else instead of accepting any of the responsibility.
  • She abuses drugs or alcohol and pressures you to take them with her even when you don’t want to.
  • She abuses drugs or alcohol and pressures you to take them with her even when you don’t want to.
  • His statements or actions indicate that he thinks men should be in control and women should do what they’re told.
  • The person you’re with treats you like property rather than a person they value.
  • When she gets angry she calls you names, kicks, hits, and pushes you.
  • He is abusive or aggressive towards inanimate objects and animals.
  • The person you are dating forces you to choose being with them over your family and friends.
  • She makes you feel that her needs and desires come before yours.
  • He makes you feel afraid to express your own thoughts or feelings, make decisions about how to spend your money, what to wear, where to go, or who to hang out with.
  • She lashes out or blames you for her bad day.
  • Your family and friends have warned you about this person or have told you that they’re worried about your safety.
  • He may use or own weapons, and has a history or violence and fighting.
  • She blows disagreements out of proportion.
  • The person you are with tells you they dislike your parents and friends.
  • He has hit pushed, choked, restrained, kicked, or physically hurt you.
  • She constantly threatens to break up with you, or constantly accused you of planning to break up with her.
  • He treats his mother disrespectfully.
  • The person youre with often loses their temper with you , verbally assaults you, sometimes threatens you, or brags about mistreating others.
  • She wants you to be available to her at all times.
  • The person you are dating treats their parents badly.
  • His threats and anger are followed by vows of love and pleas for your forgiveness.

Warning Signs for Parents

  • Since your teen has been dating this person, they’ve dropped school activities that used to be important to them.
  • Since hes been dating her, your sons grades have begun to fail.
  • You see sudden, uncharacteristic changes in your daughters clothing or make-up that only
    began after she started dating him.
  • Since your teen has been seeing this person, you’ve noticed a change in their body language
    (e.g. slouching, biting fingernails, nervousness, little or no eye contact).
  • You see constant bruises, notice other signs of injury, or damaged personal property, and your teenagers explanations seem out of place or don’t make sense.
  • Your sons girlfriend has an extraordinary influence on his behavior and decisions.
  • Your teen is not eating, not talking, and not acting as they normally would.
  • You notice sudden changes in your teenagers mood or personality since they began dating this person. They have a constant bad temper and emotional outbursts.
  • Your son seems increasingly anxious or depressed since hes been seeing her.
  • Your daughters conversations with her boyfriend are often in the form of explanations, concerning where shes been, what shes been doing, and whom shes been with.
  • Since he started seeing her, your son has suddenly become secretive and is acting out. (Teens naturally have some secretive behaviors since this is a period in life when they are trying to establish their identity. Parents should respect that but pay attention to an increase in secretive or odd behaviors.)
  • Your daughter stopped seeing friends and family members, and is becoming more and more isolated.
  • Since they began dating, your teenager is avoiding eye contact with you, having crying jags, or getting ˜hysterical.
  • Your son constantly apologizes for his girlfriends behavior and makes excuses for her.
  • Your teen has a sudden change in dress, which uncharacteristically covers them up (it may be to cover injuries)
  • Your daughters boyfriend acts extremely jealous when others pay attention to here specially when its other guys.
  • Excessive telephone calling can be a sign of an abusive relationship. Pay attention to that, especially if you notice much of the conversation is your teen justifying what they’ve been doing and with whom.
  • You know your teens boyfriend or girlfriend has a temper, but when they’re around you they’re extraordinarily charming.
  • Your sons girlfriend tells him that you don’t like her.
  • When your daughter and her boyfriend are together around you, you notice he calls her names and puts her down.
  • Since your teenager started dating this person, they have become increasingly insecure, destructive and angry.
  • Your teen shows bullying behaviors, which could indicate they have the potential to be abusive in a dating relationship.

Does your school or community group need more information about teen dating violence?

We provide specialized presentations on teen dating violence and date rape for young people FREE of charge to your school or community group. For more information or to schedule a presentation call 281-338-7600.

@katie couric: Teen Dating Violence

Katie Couric interviewed MADE co-founder, Jane Randell, Vice President of Corporate Communications, Liz Claiborne Inc. and Catherine Pierce, Deputy Director of the U.S. Justice Departments Office on Violence Against Women for her new web show, @katiecouric. The interview focuses on teen dating violence and abuse and what parents need to know to protect their children.