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UPDATED June 21, 2012

Information for Teens

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Dating violence (or relationship abuse) is a pattern of controlling behavior that someone uses against a girlfriend or boyfriend.  Please visit www.loveisrespect.org or www.thatsnotcool.com for more information.

General info for teens

back to topWhat is dating violence?

Dating violence (or relationship abuse) is a pattern of over-controlling behavior that someone uses against a girlfriend or boyfriend. Dating violence can take many forms, including mental/emotional abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. So, you may experience dating violence even if you are not being physically abused. It can occur in both casual dating situations and serious, long-tem relationships.

Sixty-two percent of 11- to 14-year-olds who had been in a relationship knew friends who had been verbally abused by a boyfriend or girlfriend, according to a 2008 study by Liz Claiborne Inc.

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back to topIs teen dating violence similar to adult domestic violence?

Teen dating violence is similar to adult domestic violence in several ways:

  • Both teen dating violence and adult domestic violence effect people from all socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic, and religious groups
  • Both occur in heterosexual, gay, and lesbian relationships
  • Both tend to show patterns of repeated violence which escalate over time
  • Both tend to display violent and abusive behavior interchanged with apologies and promises to change
  • Both tend to show increased danger for the victim when she is trying to terminate the abusive relationship
  • Both men and women, or girls and boys, can be the abusers

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back to topHow is teen dating violence different from adult domestic violence?

There are several things that make teenage dating violence different from adult domestic violence. Usually, when a teen is abused, he or she becomes isolated from her peers because of the controlling behavior of the abusive partner.

The isolation teens face in abusive dating situations often makes it hard to:

  • develop new and mature relationships with peers of both sexes.
  • feel emotionally independent.
  • develop personal values and beliefs.
  • stay focused on school and get good grades.

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