Special Feature: Teen Dating Violence

Dating violence will affect nearly one in every ten high school students, leaving them vulnerable to a myriad of short and long-term risks.

Teen dating violence is defined as the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence within a dating relationship, including stalking. National studies have shown that approximately ten percent of high school students reported being purposefully hit, slapped, or physically injured by their partner. Additionally, with teens’ rising usage of technology, including social media, cyber dating abuse and cyber bullying are common experiences for youth.

Dating violence can have a negative effect on health throughout life. Youth victims are more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety; engage in unhealthy behaviors, like using tobacco, drugs, and alcohol; or exhibit antisocial behaviors and think about suicide.

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 soon after, so they can receive services to protect against the potential psychosocial impacts of violence and reduce the likelihood of future violence.

The ultimate goal of prevention and intervention is to stop dating violence before it begins. During the preteen and teen years, young people are learning the skills they need to form positive, healthy relationships with others. This is an ideal time to promote healthy relationships and prevent patterns of relationship violence that can last into adulthood.

To help bring greater awareness to teen dating violence, NCJRS presents this online compilation of topical resources. Select a page from the box at the right under the ‘Teen Dating Violence’ heading to learn more.