Teen Dating Violence Information
- 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.
- 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.
**Information provided by loveisrespect.org, an amazingly informative website for teens whether in a relationship or not.***
- They tells you they can’t live without you.
- They blame you for their problems.
- They break or hits things to intimidate you.
- Your weight, appearance, or grades have changed dramatically since you started seeing this person.
- They threaten to hurt themselves or others if you break up with them.
- The person you are dating acts jealously, says jealous things, or exhibits aggressive behaviors towards you.
- They pressure 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
- They humiliate 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.
- They are jealous and possessive about the time you spend with your friends.
- They are 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.
- They want to limit your other school activities, so you can be together more.
- You’re frightened of them and worry about how they will react to things you say or do.
- They want your relationship to get serious too quickly, and refuses to take no for an answer.
- They blame past bad relationships on everything or everybody else instead of accepting any of the responsibility.
- They abuse drugs or alcohol and pressures you to take them too even when you don’t want to.
- Their statements or actions indicate that they think 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 they get angry they call you names, kick, hit, and pushes you.
- They are 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.
- They make you feel that their needs and desires come before yours.
- They make 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.
- They lash out or blames you for their bad day.
- Your family and friends have warned you about this person or have told you that they’re worried about your safety.
- They may use or own weapons, and has a history or violence and fighting.
- They blow disagreements out of proportion.
- The person you are with tells you they dislike your parents and friends.
- They have hit, pushed, choked, restrained, kicked, or physically hurt you.
- They constantly threaten to break up with you, or constantly accused you of planning to break up with them.
- They treat their mother disrespectfully.
- The person you’re with often loses their temper with you, verbally assaults you, sometimes threatens you, or brags about mistreating others.
- They want you to be available to them at all times.
- The person you are dating treats their parents badly.
- Their threats and anger are followed by vows of love and pleas for your forgiveness.
- Since your teen has been dating this person, they’ve dropped school activities that used to be important to them.
- Since they have been dating, your teen has been getting failing grades.
- You see sudden, uncharacteristic changes in your teen’s clothing or make-up that only
began after they started dating.
- 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 teenager’s explanations seem out of place or don’t make sense.
- Your child’s dating partner 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 teenager’s mood or personality since they began dating this person. They have a constant bad temper and emotional outbursts.
- Your teen seems increasingly anxious or depressed since they have been dating their partner.
- Your child’s conversations with their dating partner are often in the form of explanations, concerning where they’ve been, what they’ve been doing, and whom they’ve been with.
- Since they started seeing each other, your teen 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 teen has 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 teen constantly apologizes for their dating partner’s behavior and makes excuses for them.
- Your teen has a sudden change in dress, which uncharacteristically covers them up (it may be to cover injuries)
- Your teen’s dating partner acts extremely jealous when others pay attention to here specially when it is people of the opposite sex.
- 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 teen’s boyfriend or girlfriend has a temper, but when they’re around you they’re extraordinarily charming.
- Your teen’s partner tells them that you don’t like them.
- When your teen and their partner are together around you, you notice they call them names and puts them 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.