In Focus: Teen Dating Violence NCJRS acronym/logo with text: National Criminal Justice Reference Service

Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime.

Teens often think some behaviors, like teasing and name calling, are a "normal" part of a relationship. However, these behaviors can become abusive and develop into more serious forms of violence.

Examples of teen dating violence include physical and emotional harm, as well as stalking. Teen dating violence can occur between current or former dating partners, in person or electronically.

The effects of teen dating violence can last long into adulthood. Research has shown that youth victims are more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety; engage in unhealthy behaviors; or exhibit antisocial behaviors and think about suicide.

Additionally, once teens experience violence in one relationship, they are at significant risk for experiencing violence in another relationship.

It is important that teens who experience dating violence seek help. It is also critical that teachers, parents, coaches or others in a teen's life maintain awareness and take action to get help when it occurs.

During Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (February), see the Teen Dating Violence Special Feature for information and resources.

decorative arrowAccess the Teen Dating Violence Special Feature

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Are resources available to help teens in abusive relationships?
If you are a teen in an abusive relationship or are concerned about someone's safety, please contact ... Read More

What is dating violence?
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) defines dating violence as violence committed by a person... Read More

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Building Healthy Teen Relationships: An Evaluation of a Dating Violence Prevention Program with Middle School Students

A National Survey Shines a Light on the Nature and Scope of Teen Dating Violence

Understanding Teen Dating Violence

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Related Resources

Dating Matters®: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships

National Dating Abuse Helpline

NIJ: Teen Dating Violence

OVC: Teen Dating Violence

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NCJRS Federal Sponsors

Office of Justice Programs (OJP)

Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)

Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)

National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)

Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART)