You should know the facts BECAUSE

  • 54% of parents admit they have not spoken to their child about dating violence.
  • 1 in 3 girls between the ages of 16-18 say sex is expected from people their age if they are in a relationship.
  • 1 in 5 teens who have been in a serious relationship report being hit, slapped, or pushed by their partner.
  • 30% of teens say they are text messaged 10, 20, or 30 times an hour by a partner asking where they are, what there are doing, or who they are with.

Facts taken from &

Dating Violence involves physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse. It is seldom limited to only one occasion and is quite different than having fights or getting angry. In an abusive relationship, one person believes their needs are more important than their partner’s and uses power and control to get those needs met. That person repeatedly threatens to, or actually acts in a way that physically, sexually, or verbally injures their boyfriend or girlfriend. Abusive relationships don’t become less abusive over time, they progressively get worse. The earlier you recognize that a relationship is heading in that direction, the easier it is to get out of the relationship before it gets worse.

  • Bruises, permanent injury, and death
  • Never a one-time occurence
  • Each occurence is usually worse than the previous one
  • Involves control, threats, and intimidation
  • Does not have to leave a bruise or a mark to be defined as physical abuse
Some Examples of Physical Abuse Reported by Teens
  • Hair pulled
  • Scratched?
  • Bitten
  • Punched in face
  • Slapped
  • Arm twisted
  • Choked
  • Cut with knife
  • Held arm so tight it bruised
  • Burned
  • Dumped out of car
  • Kicked in stomach while pregnant

  • Involves extreme jealousy and possessiveness used to gain control
  • Suspiciousness that leads to blaming about things that did not occur
  • Can make you feel crazy and doubt yourself
  • Causes forced isolation from family and/or friends to gain control
  • Destroys independence
Some Examples of Emotional Abuse Reported by Teens
  • Yelled at
  • Called names
  • Verbally harassed
  • Blamed for partner’s faults
  • Labeled
  • Publicly humiliated
  • Repeatedly interrogated
  • Money stolen
  • Accused of flirting or having sex with others

  • Being pressured into having unwanted sex out of fear
  • Sex that is unwanted or hurtful
  • Sex that gets rougher over time
  • He does not stop even when you tell him he is hurting you
Some Examples of Sexual Abuse Reported by Teens
  • Called sexual names
  • Bitten, punched, or hurt during sex
  • Forced to perform sex acts that are “disgusting”
  • Forced sex
  • Wanted sex after hitting
  • Forced to have sex without permission

If you have a friend in an abusive relationship, the only way she will be safe is by breaking off the relationship. However, she will not be able to follow through on this unless she receives support from her friends and family. As her friend, you can help her during this difficult time. It may take several attempts before she is able to breakup permanently. Staying in her life and encouraging her not to isolate herself from friends and family are important parts of the help and support you can offer:

  • Let her know that she didn’t deserve to be treated badly. Whatever abuse has happened to her is wrong, serious and not her fault. If you ignore what is happening to her or make light of it, it may appear that her peer group sees his behavior as not so bad and acceptable.
  • Help your friend understand that there was not something bad about her that caused the violence and that she cannot make another person abusive. The abusive behavior is his choice and his responsibility, not hers. She will also need help to see that she can’t change him and make it better. Again, that is his responsibility, not hers.
  • Don’t blame her for staying. She may not be strong enough to leave at first and may be afraid to do so. Just let her know that it will not get better and that the longer she stays the worse it will get. Let her know she can always talk to you about it even if she stays. As her friend, she is more at risk if her friends give up on her.
  • Help your friend learn ways to protect herself and plan for her safety. Obtain a list of places that work with abused women and keep it available for when she needs it.
  • View this brochure about dating violence, print, and share with your friend