Teen dating violence - what you can do

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month! This effort raises awareness about domestic abuse and prevention in relationships between young adults across the country.

What is Teen Dating Violence (TDV)?

Teen dating violence, or TDV, comes in many forms. Technically, it is defined as physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence within a dating relationship, including stalking. Although TDV can occur in person with a current partner, it can also happen online or from a previous partner.

Some Facts about TDV:

  • Among high school students, 21% of females and 10% of males have experienced Teen Domestic Violence
  • While TDV can happen to anyone, girls between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of TDV.
  • Nearly 1.5 million high school students across the country experience TDV every year
  • Anyone of any gender can be the victim or the abuser in a relationship

How to recognize abuse?

Dating abuse happens when one partner uses power and control over the other person in a relationship.  Abuse can take many forms and sometimes can be hard to identify. Abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, financial, or even digital. This Power and Control Wheel helps lay out the different kinds of abuse teens may face. It is always important to remember that violence in a relationship is NOT normal. , Trust your gut if something feels wrong. Here is quizyou can take to help identify if you or someone close to you is in an abusive relationship.

What are the consequences of abuse?

There are serious long term and short term consequences of TDV. These include an increased chance for depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Remember: Learning how to manage complicated emotions like anger and communicating with your partner are important aspects of a healthy relationship.

What should I do if I think I’m in an unhealthy relationship?

It takes a lot of courage to acknowledge that you are in an unhealthy or abusive relationship. Remember that you are not alone and there are plenty of resources to help you out. Below is a list of some of these resources that can help you develop a plan.

Bottom Line

If you feel you or someone close to you is in an abusive relationship, help is available

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This blog was reposted from Teensource.org, a project of Essential Access Health. TeenSource.org is an online hub for comprehensive and teen-friendly information on birth control, STDs, relationships and teen’s rights to accessing sensitive services. The site features youth-developed blogs and videos, a clinic finder, a Condom Access Project and links to TeenSource social media where youth can stay updated on relevant sexual and reproductive health information and news. 

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