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Safe Dates Matter

For teens, going to a movie, concert, or restaurant, or just hanging out together as a couple is supposed to be fun. But for many young people, dating relationships that begin innocently enough turn into encounters with fear and violence. One in three young people will be in an abusive relationship, and only about one-third of those teens ever tell anybody about it.

1 in 3

  • 1 in 5 teens know a victim of dating violence.

  • 1 in 3 young people will be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship.

  • 1 in 10 high school students have been purposely hit, slapped, or physically hurt by a boyfriend or a girlfriend.

  • 80% of girls who have been abused keep dating their abuser.

  • 1 in 4 dating teens are abused or harassed online or through text by their partners.

  • 81 % of parents do not realize that their teens are involved in teen dating violence.

Dating abuse

Domestic violence isn’t limited to adult relationships. Teens are in danger, and we’re called as a community to treat everyone with the respect they deserve and protect our young people from toxic, damaging relationships. Dating abuse is defined as physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence within a dating relationship, including stalking. The abuse can occur in person or electronically between a current dating partner or a former dating partner. Dating abuse happens any time one person, in either an opposite or a same-sex relationship, uses a pattern of manipulative or controlling behaviors to achieve or maintain power over another person. Domestic violence is all about power and control over a victim, regardless of age.

Physical abuse is only one aspect of teen dating violence. Teen dating violence, just like domestic violence, involves so much more than physical abuse like punching, pushing, and choking. Emotional abuse, such as intimidation, isolation, and verbal insults can leave long-lasting effects even greater than bruises or broken bones, which will heal. Other types of abuse include sexual and technological.

Teen Dating Violence Wheel