Teen Dating Violence From Centers for Disease Control
Dating violence is a type of intimate partner violence. It occurs
between two people in a close relationship. The nature of dating violence can
be physical, emotional, or sexual.
Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime.
Dating violence often starts with teasing and name calling.
These behaviors are often thought to be a "normal" part of a relationship. But
these behaviors can lead to more serious violence like physical assault and
• Physical -- This occurs when a partner is pinched, hit, shoved,
• Emotional -- This means threatening a partner or harming
his or her sense of self-worth. Examples include name calling,
shaming, bullying, embarrassing on purpose, or keeping him/her away from
friends and family.
• Sexual -- This is forcing a partner to engage in a sex act
when he or she does not or cannot consent.
Why is dating violence a public health problem?
Dating violence is a serious problem in the United States.
Many teens do not report it because they are afraid to tell friends and family.
• 72% of 8th and 9th graders reportedly "date."
• 1 in 4 adolescents report verbal, physical, emotional, or
sexual abuse from a dating partner each year.
• About 10% of students nationwide
report being physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the past 12
How does dating violence affect
Dating violence can have a negative effect on health throughout
life. Teens who are victims are more likely to be depressed and do poorly in school.
They may engage in unhealthy behaviors, like using drugs and alcohol, and are
more likely to have eating disorders. Some teens even think about or attempt
suicide. Teens who are victims in high school are at higher risk for victimization
Who is at risk for dating violence?
Studies show that people who harm their dating partners are
more depressed and are more aggressive than peers. Other factors that increase
risk for harming a dating partner include:
Having a friend involved in
Having problem behaviors in other
Belief that dating violence is acceptable
Exposure to harsh parenting
Exposure to inconsistent discipline
Lack of parental supervision, monitoring, and warmth
How can we prevent dating violence?
The ultimate goal is to stop dating violence before it starts.
Strategies that promote healthy relationships are vital. During the preteen and
teen years, young people are learning skills they need to form positive relationships
with others. This is an ideal time to promote healthy relationships and prevent
patterns of dating violence that can last into adulthood. Prevention programs change the attitudes and behaviors
linked with dating violence.
Where can I learn more?
Tillamook County Women's Resource Center offers programs for teens and adults. Contact them at (503) 842-9486 or 1 (800) 992-1679.
National Domestic Violence Hotline -- 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
National Sexual Assault Hotline -- 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
National Sexual Violence Resource Center -- www.nsvrc.org
Dating Matters: Understanding Teen Dating Violence
Prevention -- www.vetoviolence.org/datingmatters
Foshee VA, Linder GF, Bauman
KE, et al. The Safe Dates project: theoretical basis, evaluation design, and
selected baseline findings. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 1996;12(Suppl 2):39–47.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance -- United States, 2009.
Banyard VL & Cross C.
Consequences of teen dating violence: Understanding intervening variables in
ecological context. Violence Against Women. 2008:14(9):998-1013.
Ackard DM & Neumark-Sztainer D, Date violence and date rape among adolescents:
Associations with disordered eating behaviors and psychological health. Child
Abuse and Neglect. 2002:26:455-473.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical Dating Violence Among High School Students -- United
States, 2003. MMWR 2006:55:532-535.
Smith PH, White JW, Holland LJ. A
longitudinal perspective on dating violence among adolescent and college-age
women.American Journal of Public Health. 2003;93(7):1104 - 9.
Foshee VA, & Matthew RA.
(2007). Adolescent dating abuse perpetration: A review of findings,
methodological limitations, and suggestions for future research. In DJ
Flannery, AT Vazjoni, & ID Waldman (Eds.), The
Cambridge Handbook of Violence Behavior and Aggression (pp. 431-449). New York:
For more information, contact: Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control,
1-800-CDC-INFO, www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention, firstname.lastname@example.org
To read an interview with local counselors about teen dating violence, CLICK HERE.
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