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Teen Dating Violence

What is Teen Dating Violence?

Teen dating violence or abuse is a pattern of behavior that includes physical, emotional, verbal or sexual abuse used by one person in an intimate relationship to exert power and control over another among individuals between the ages of 13-19 years old.

How Common is Teen Dating Abuse?

  • Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence (another term for domestic or teen dating violence).
  • Approximately one in three adolescent girls in the US experiences physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.
  • One in four teen girls in a relationship says she has been threatened with violence or experienced verbal abuse.
  • One in three teens reports knowing a friend or peer who has been physically abused by a partner.
  • One in five “tweens” (age 11 to 14) say their friends are victims of dating violence.
  • Nearly half (43%) of dating college women report violent and abusive dating behaviors.

What are the Consequences of Teen Dating Violence?

  • Abusive relationships in adolescence can have serious consequences by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • Teen victims of abuse have a higher rate of suicide attempts and unplanned pregnancy.
  • Unhealthy relationships can start early and last into adulthood, either as victim or abuser.

For more information, facts sheets are available from the CDC, Loveisrespect.org, and the Family Violence Prevention Fund.