Teen Dating Violence

In dating violence, one person tries to maintain power and control over the other through some kind of abuse. This abuse may be physical, verbal, emotional or sexual.

Statistics show that 1 out of 3 teenagers have experienced some form of dating violence, and that most victims are young women. Of teenage girls aged 14 to 17, 40% say that they know someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.

Teen dating violence is often hidden. Teenagers are inexperienced with dating relationships and may be pressured by peers to act violently. The young man may believe: that: "masculinity" is physical aggressiveness and that he should demand intimacy. Or he may feel that he will lose respect if he is attentive and supportive towards his girlfriend.

Young women may feel that their boyfriend's jealousy, possessiveness or physical abuse is "romantic" - that it proves that he cares. Or they may think that abuse is "normal" because their friends are also being abused. The young woman may be afraid to stand up for herself and believe that there is no one she can ask for help.

No one deserves to be abused or threatened in a dating relationship. Teens or their family may reach out to a trusted adult or contact a local domestic violence agency for information and support.

Behaviors shown by the controlling partner:

  • Pushing for heavy involvement in the relationship right away
  • Showing extreme jealousy, isolating from friends
  • Using overly controlling behavior
  • Being verbally abusive or threatening, anger outbursts
  • Using force during arguments
  • Acting unpredictably - wide mood swings
  • Abusing substances - alcohol and/or drugs
  • Blaming others for his/her problems
  • Being cruel to animals

Signs seen in the victim:

  • Injuries or bruises in many stages of healing
  • Pregnancy
  • Emotional outbursts, changing mood and personality
  • Withdrawing or isolating self from family or friends
  • Truancy, failing grades, dropping out of school
  • Use of drugs and/or alcohol

Beaumont has an excellent educational presentation on the subject for teens in the community. Click here for more information: Link to Teen Drama Brochure.