Dating and Relationship Violence: Prevention and Awareness

  • Teen Dating Violence is a pattern of emotional, verbal, sexual, or physical abuse used by one person in a current or past dating relationship to exert power and control over another when one or both of the partners is a teenager. Abuse may include insults, coercion, social sabotage, sexual harassment, stalking, threats and/or acts of physical or sexual abuse. The abusive partner uses this pattern of violent and coercive behavior to gain power and maintain control over the dating partner. This may also include abuse, harassment, and stalking via electronic devices such as cell phones and computers, and harassment through a third party, and may be physical, mental, or both. In Teen Dating Violence relationships, there are Three Important Roles:

    • The Abuser - A person who physically, sexually, verbally or emotionally hurts a dating partner.
    • The Victim - A person who is hurt physically, sexually, verbally or emotionally by a dating partner.
    • The Bystander - A person who is aware that someone is being abused in a dating relationship. The bystander may become aware of the abuse through the abuser's or target's actions or words, or through second-hand information.


    Young adult dating violence is an increasing problem, affecting youth in every community across the nation.

    • Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide have experienced 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.
    • 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 aged 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.


    National Teen Domestic Violence Hotline

    1-866-331-9474 or Text "loveis" to 22522

    Hope's Door (Collin County)

    972-422- SAFE (7233)