Dating violence is a repeated pattern of actual or threatened acts that emotionally, verbally, physically, or sexually hurt another person. One partner tries to maintain power and control over the other through abuse. Teenagers often experience violence in dating relationships. This can happen in same-sex relationships as well. Dating violence crosses all racial, economic, and social lines. Most victims are young women, who are at greater risk for serious injury. Teenagers can choose better relationships when they learn to identify the early warning signs of an abusive relationship, understand that they have choices, and believe that they are valuable people who deserve to be treated with respect.
Teen dating violence is often hidden because teens are typically inexperienced with dating relationships; are pressured by peers to act violently; want independence from parents/caregivers; and have romantic views of love. Teen dating violence is influenced by how teens look at themselves and others.
The following are examples of some of the different forms that dating violence can take:
Young men may believe that:
Young women may believe that:
Traumatized students are more likely to struggle in school, be absent from school, and engage in behaviours that lead to suspensions.