Teen Relationship Violence

Young adult dating violence is a big problem, affecting youth in every community across the nation. Learn the facts below.

Too Common

*Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.

*One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.

*One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.

*One quarter of high school girls have been victims of physical or sexual abuse.

*Approximately 70% of college students say they have been sexually coerced.

Why Focus on Teens?

*Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average.
*Violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18.
*The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.
*About 72% of eighth and ninth graders are “dating”.

Long Lasting Effects

*Violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence.
*Being physically or sexually abused makes teen girls six times more likely to become pregnant and twice as likely to get a STI.
*Half of youth who have been victims of both dating violence and rape attempt suicide, compared to 12.5% of non-abused girls and 5.4% of non-abused boys.

What Should I Look For in a Partner?

Look for someone who will:

*Treat you with respect.
*Doesn’t make fun of things you like or want to do.
*Never puts you down.
*Doesn’t get angry if you spend time with your friends or family.
*Listens to your ideas and compromise sometimes.
*Isn’t excessively negative.
*Shares some of your interests such as movies, sports, reading, dancing or music.
*Isn’t afraid to share their thoughts and feelings.
*Is comfortable around your friends and family.
*Is proud of your accomplishments and successes.
*Respects your boundaries and does not abuse technology.
*Doesn’t require you to “check in” or need to know where you are all the time.
*Is caring and honest.
*Doesn’t pressure you to do things that you don’t want to do.
*Doesn’t constantly accuse you of cheating or being unfaithful.
*Encourages you to do well in school or at work.
*Doesn’t threaten you or make you feel scared.
*Understands the importance of healthy relationships.

Remember that a relationship consists of two people. Both you and your partner should have equal say and should never be afraid to express how you feel. It’s not just about speaking up for yourself — you should also listen and seriously consider what your partner says.


Every relationship has arguments and disagreements sometimes — this is normal. How you choose to deal with your disagreements is what really counts. Both people should work hard to communicate effectively.

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