Teen Dating Violence

What is Teen Dating Violence?

It is what happens in a teen dating relationship when one person uses abuse to gain power and keep control over his or her partner. This abuse can be physical, emotional, verbal or sexual and generally escalates over time.

If you are being abused, know that it is NOT okay, and it is not your fault. Talk to a friend or trusted adult. SEEK HELP.

If you are the abuser, it is important for you to recognize your behavior and make changes. Speak honestly with a school counselor or other trusted adult. SEEK HELP.

Some facts about teen dating violence:

  • As many as 1 in 4, or 25% of dating couples report some type of violence in their relationship.
  • 40% of teenage girls ages 14-17 say they know someone their age who has been hit by a boyfriend.
  • Nearly 80% of girls who are physically abused in an intimate relationship continue to date the abuser.
  • Patterns of abuse and violence developed in junior high or high school are often carried forward into adult relationships.
  • Dating violence most often occurs in the home of one of the partners.
  • Both teenage boys and teenage girls report being victims of violence in relationships.

The Problem – A Silent Epidemic

One in three teens will experience abuse in a dating relationship and two-thirds of them will never report it to anyone. Dating violence is not just dangerous, it is devastating to a young person’s health and safety. The effects of dating violence are long-lasting. Teens who experience abuse in relationships act out exhibiting higher rates of drug abuse, school drop-out, high-risk sexual behavior, acts of violence and suicide.

The Solution – Education, Activism, Advocacy

Break the Cycle, we believe everybody has the right to safe and healthy relationships—regardless of where they live, who they are or what they believe. That is why we work everyday towards our mission to engage, educate and empower youth to build lives and communities free from domestic violence. Break the Cycle offers programs that defy geographic bounds—ensuring that no young person is excluded from receiving the help, tools and information they need to live free from violence. Our success is demonstrated by more than a decade of leadership in working with teens to prevent and end domestic and dating violence.