What is teen dating violence? Relationship violence can start early in a young person’s life. Intimate partner violence affects teenagers and young adults (ages 16-24) more than any other age group. One third of adolescents have experienced physical, emotional, sexual, and/or verbal abuse by a dating partner. The dynamics of power and control in a teen dating relationship can be just as dangerous as those found in an adult relationship. Due to the age of the parties involved, teens may face barriers that prevent them from getting the support and resources they need to be safer in their relationships.
Being able to tell the difference between healthy, unhealthy, and abusive relationships can be more difficult than you would think. No two relationships are the same – what is unhealthy in one relationship may be abusive in the next. Although there are many signs to pay attention to in a relationship, look for these common warning signs of dating abuse:
- Checking cell phones, emails, or social networks without permission
- Extreme jealousy or insecurity
- Constant belittling or put-downs
- Explosive temper
- Isolation from family and friends
- Making false accusations
- Erratic mood swings
- Physically inflicting pain or hurt in any way
- Telling someone what to do
- Repeatedly pressuring someone to have sex
Learn more about teen and young adult dating relationships at loveisrespect.org.