Teen Dating Violence
What is Teen Dating Violence?
Teen dating violence (TDV), also called, “dating violence”, is an adverse childhood experience that affects millions of young people in the United States. Dating violence can take place in person, online, or through technology. It is a type of intimate partner violence that can include the following types of behavior:
- Physical violence is when a person hurts or tries to hurt a partner by hitting, kicking, or using another type of physical force.
- Sexual violence is forcing or attempting to force a partner to take part in a sex act and or sexual touching when the partner does not or cannot consent. It also includes non-physical sexual behaviors like posting or sharing sexual pictures of a partner without their consent or sexting someone without their consent.
- Psychological aggression is the use of verbal and non-verbal communication with the intent to harm a partner mentally or emotionally and/or exert control over a partner.
- Stalking is a pattern of repeated, unwanted attention and contact by a partner that causes fear or concern for one’s own safety or the safety of someone close to the victim.
Teen dating violence has profound impact on lifelong health, opportunity, and well-being. Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime. The good news is violence is preventable and we can all help young people grow up violence-free.
Facts About Teen Dating Violence
Teens often think some behaviors like teasing and name-calling are a “normal” part of a relationship, but these behaviors can become abusive and develop into serious forms of violence.
- Nearly 1 in 11 female and about 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
Unhealthy or violent relationships can have severe short and long-term effects on a developing teen. For example, youth who are victims of TDV are more likely to:
- Experience symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Engage in unhealthy behaviors, like using tobacco, drugs, and alcohol
- Think about suicide
(provided by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Dating Bill of Rights
You have the right to:
- Be treated as an equal
- Make decisions about your own body
- Choose your own friends
- End a relationship
- Be loved in a caring way
- Be happy
- Be treated with respect
- Express your own thoughts and opinions
- Live without fear or intimidation
- Feel good about yourself
- Choose what to wear
- Make decisions for yourself
- Say no
- Change your mind
- Spend time with your family
- Be safe
- Private use of your cell phone or computer
- Spend time doing things of interest to you