Teen Dating Violence

Safety & Awareness | September 1, 2019
Teen Dating Violence

By Alicia Gehrig, Community Outreach Coordinator, Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services, Inc.

Dating violence is a pattern of behavior in a relationship used to gain and maintain power and control over another person.

Dating violence is incredibly common and in fact, 1 in 3 young people will experience dating abuse in their lifetime. Because it is so common, it’s important to recognize the warning signs and understand exactly what dating violence looks like. Dating violence can take place in person or electronically. Technology can be used in an unhealthy manner by repeatedly texting or constantly monitoring who someone talks to, demands social media passwords, or posting inappropriate pictures of a partner online without consent.

Teens & adults experience similar types of abuse, including:

  • Verbal or Emotional Abuse: non-physical damaging behaviors like threats, name calling, insults, screaming, constant monitoring or isolation
  • Sexual Abuse: any non-consenting sexual act or behavior that occurs without willing, active, unimpaired consent.
  • Technological Abuse: using technology to bully, stalk, threaten, or intimidate a partner using texting, social media, tracking, etc.
  • Stalking: being repeatedly watched, followed, monitored or harassed. Can occur online or in-person and can include receiving unwanted gifts of any sort
  • Physical Abuse: any intentional use of physical touch to cause fear, injury, or assert control onto another. Examples include hitting, shoving, strangling, etc.

Unhealthy relationships can start early in life and last through adulthood and that’s why it is important to identify these unhealthy behaviors and seek help from a safe adult like your teacher, guidance counselor, parent, or advocate. Remember, abuse is never your fault and asking for help is nothing to feel ashamed of.

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