If you think your son or daughter may be controlling, abusive, or violent with his or her partner, tell your child that abuse and violence are NOT acceptable and that violence will not solve problems.
Let him or her know when you truly care for someone you don’t hurt them or try to control them.
Unfortunately, teen dating violence—the type of intimate partner violence that occurs between two young people who are, or who were once in, an intimate relationship—is a serious problem in the United States.
A national survey found that ten percent of teens, female and male, had been the victims of physical dating violence within the past year and can increase the risk of physical injury, poor academic performance, binge drinking, suicide attempts, unhealthy sexual behaviors, substance abuse, negative body image and self-esteem, and violence in future relationships.
One NIJ-funded study examined the prevalence of dating violence among 5,647 teens (51.8 percent female, 74.6 percent Caucasian) from 10 middle schools and high schools (representing grades 7-12) throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. "Partner Violence Among Adolescents in Opposite-Sex Romantic Relationships: Findings from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health." 91 (October 2001): 1679-1685.
Dating violence is when one person purposely hurts or scares someone they are dating.
Any of these and more can be part of teen dating violence: Abusive teens use these kinds of behavior to keep power and control over a dating partner.
Teen dating violence occurs in straight and gay (LGTBQ) relationships.
Recognizing that the person you love is controlling, abusive or violent is hard even for adults.
Even when teens recognize that they are being abused, they may hesitate to turn to adults for support, understanding, and protection.
The following percentages of dating teens reported experiencing forms of abuse: An NIJ-funded longitudinal study of 1,162 students in the Midwest examined the prevalence of several kinds of abuse that male and female middle and high school students experienced and perpetrated in teen dating relationships. About one-third of girls and boys (35 percent and 36 percent, respectively) reported experiencing physical violence in a teen dating relationship. Verbal emotional abuse was the most common form of abuse in teen dating relationships for both girls and boys: 73 percent of girls and 66 percent of boys reported experiencing at least one instance of verbal abuse in a dating relationship in high school.