For Teens

What Every Teen Needs to Know

If You are a Teen

Dating violence, also called relationship abuse, is a pattern of over-controlling behavior that someone uses against a girlfriend, boyfriend, or partner. Dating violence can take many forms, including mental/emotional abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse.

You don’t have to be physically abused to experience dating violence.

Dating violence can happen in any type of relationship- straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer- and in both casual dating situations and serious, long-term relationships.

Boys, girls, non-conforming and non-binary youth can all be victims.

Relationship violence is an epidemic

  • One-third of teens report experiencing some kind of abuse in their romantic relationships, including verbal and emotional abuse.
  • Four out of five students report that they have experienced some type of sexual harassment in school.
  • 83% of girls and 79% of boys report having ever experienced harassment.
  • For many students sexual harassment is an ongoing experience: over 1 in 4 students experience it "often."
  • These numbers do not differ by whether the school is urban or suburban or rural.
  • 76% of students have experienced non-physical harassment while 58% have experienced physical harassment. Non-physical harassment includes taunting, rumors, graffiti, jokes or gestures.

Abuse isn't just hitting – it’s also

  • yelling,
  • threatening,
  • name calling,
  • saying "I'll kill you or myself if you leave me,"
  • obsessive phone calling, texting, or paging, and/or
  • extreme possessiveness.

You may experience dating violence even if you are not being physically abused.

Stay Safe: How can I stay safe from an abusive dating partner?

Develop a Safety Plan: Safety Plan for Teens