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What is Teen Dating Violence?

Depressed man sitting on the sofa and holding his forehead.jpg

Dating violence is not the same as having an argument or disagreement with your partner but one persons need to have all the power and control in the relationship. Dating violence is a cycle of abusive, controlling behaviors that occurs over and over again. Once abuse occurs it is likely to happen again. Relationships don't start out as abusive. In the beginning of a relationship abusers often appear to be romantic, charming and almost perfect. Abusive behaviors usually progress slowly and subtly. 

Red Flags of a Violent Partner

While there are many warnings signs that a dating relationship may likely turn violent, researchers have identified the most common abusive behaviors. If you begin to notice several of these behaviors in your partner, you may want to reconsider the dating relationship.

Check your cell phone, emails or social networks without permission


Physically harming you in any way

Constantly belittle you and put you down

Isolate you from your family and friends

Possessiveness/controlling behavior

Constant mood swings/Explosive temper

Force/pressure you to have sex

Tell you what you can and cannot do

Warning Signs of Dating Violence

More than half of adolescents/teens between ages 13 and 18 know friends or peers who have been physically, sexually, or verbally assaulted by a dating partner. If you recognize any of these warning signs, it may be an indication that your loved one is in an abusive relationship.

  • Sudden changes in mood personality/or change in appearance

  • Grades falling

  • Stopping school activities

  • Avoiding friends and social events

  • Physical signs of injury, unexplained injuries, or the explanations for the injuries do not make sense

  • Clothes that don’t match the weather (long sleeve tops in summer) may be worn to hide bruising

  • Use of drugs/alcohol

  • Emotional outbursts

  • Difficulty making decisions

  • Excessive text messaging, phone calling, constantly checking in with partner

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