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Teen Dating Violence
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What is teen dating violence?

The CDC defines teen dating violence (TDV) as a type of intimate partner violence. It occurs between two people in a close relationship.

TDV can include physical violence, sexual violence, psychological aggression, and stalking.

Teen dating violence is a major adolescent health concern. Teen dating violence is a public health epidemic that requires a range of prevention and intervention strategies. Because teen dating violence is pervasive, it is critical to develop a comprehensive approach that includes the education and healthcare fields. The needs of the teens themselves, as well as their families and communities, must be considered. (The California Adolescent Health Collaborative)

1. CDC. Violence Prevention – Preventing Teen Dating Violence.

2. The California Adolescent Health Collaborative (CAHC)

National Statistics 
According to

  • Nationwide, about 10% of high school students report being hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the past 12 months.
  • Nearly 1 in 11 female and approximately 1 in 15 male high school students report having experienced physical dating violence in the last year.
  • About 1 in 9 female and 1 in 36 male high school students report having experienced sexual dating violence in the last year.
  • 26% of women and 15% of men who were victims of contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their life first experienced these or other forms of violence by that partner before age 18.

State of California

According to the CDC

  • Young women between 16 and 24 have the highest rate of abuse by a partner, compared to all other age groups.
  • 8.2% of California’s 11th-grade students report being “hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose” by their partner in the past twelve months.
  • Teens who identify as LGBTQ and those who are racial or ethnic minorities experience more dating violence, as well as all types of violence. Nearly one in four lesbian, gay and bisexual youth who had been in a dating relationship reported sexual violence in a recent survey.

What makes dating abuse in teen relationships different from adult domestic abuse?

Experience: This may be the teen’s first experience with romantic love and/or sex.

Pressure: There is extraordinary peer pressure, societal pressure and even perhaps parental pressure for teens to have a romantic partner — particularly for girls to have a boyfriend, and for boys to be sexually active.

Parents: Some teen victims are very concerned about their parent(s) finding out that there has been abuse in their relationships.  This may be because they are still involved with the abusive partner and don’t want to be restricted by a parent to NOT see their partner.  But sometimes the abusive relationship is over and the victim still doesn’t want the parents to know what happened.  Sometimes this is due to a fear that the parent(s) would “freak out,” wouldn’t trust their judgment in the future, or that they would have to reveal lies they may have told their parents when they were still in the relationship.   Sometimes the concern is that the parents wouldn’t understand, or would think the teen was just “being dramatic.”

School: Some teen victims attend the same school as their abuser.  At the very least this means they must see the person every day.  In the worst-case scenario, this poses a serious safety risk to the victim.  Even in cases where a restraining order has been issued, the abuser has certain rights that can make safety planning difficult.

Teen Dating Violence — RDAP (

Unhealthy or abusive relationships take many forms, and there is not one specific behavior that causes a relationship to be categorized as such. However, there are certain behaviors that should be cause for concern. Behaviors that should raise a red flag include:


  •      Excessive jealousy or insecurity
  •      Invasions of partner’s privacy
  •      Unexpected bouts of anger or rage
  •      Unusual moodiness
  •      Pressuring a partner into unwanted sexual activity
  •      Blaming partner for problems in the relationship and not taking any responsibility for their actions
  •      Controlling tendencies
  •      Explosive temper
  •      Dictating friendships and isolating partner from friends or family
  •      Constantly monitoring partner’s whereabouts
  •      Making false accusations of partner’s intentions
  •      Vandalizing or ruining partner’s personal property
  •      Taunting or bullying
  •      Threatening or causing physical violence.

Teen Dating Violence. 2021

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Teen dating violence is just another way of saying rape.


Abuse comes in many forms. Besides sexual violence, it also includes

Yelling, swearing, put-downs, and threats

Being pushed around or hit

Controlling, bossy, and bullying behavior


Oh, it’s not that common.


More than 1 in 10 teenagers experience physical violence in a dating relationship. When threats and emotional abuse are included, it’s even higher.


Teen dating violence isn’t really that serious.


30 percent of all women who are murdered in this country are killed by their husbands or boyfriend. According to a Massachusetts study, that same high percentage applied to teens aged 15-19. Also, 60% of all rape victims reported to rape crisis centers are majority 16-24.


It only happens to kids from bad homes.


Dating violence is not limited to families with a history of violence. It happens to teens from families of all cultures, income levels, and educational backgrounds.


It can’t happen to my child.


Boys, as well as girls, can be victims of dating violence.

It can happen in any type of relationship—straight, gay, or lesbian.

It can occur at any time in a relationship—those just starting or ones that have been going on for a while.