As part of the year-long commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Justice Department has joined with the U.S. Senate to designate the entire month of February as "National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month." Research and publications from OJP's Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Institute of Justice, and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention are helping to define the complex issues involved in teen and preteen relationships.
The National Institute of Justice, in partnership with the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services, is studying teen dating violence among Latino and high risk youth, and the effectiveness of community-based prevention programs for girls in foster care and of school-based prevention programs.
Because teen dating violence has only recently been recognized as a significant public health problem, the complex nature of this phenomenon is not fully understood. Consequently, those in the field have to rely on an adult framework to examine the problem of teen dating violence.
However, adult relationships differ substantially from adolescent dating in their power and control dynamics, social skill levels and development, and peer influence. These factors are vital to understanding violence and abuse in early romantic relationships and may help explain the similar occurrence rates of teen dating violence among boys and girls suggested by current statistics.
Resources can be found at—
Workshops on Violence Against Women/Family Violence.
NIJ Journal 261 - Teen Dating Violence: A Closer Look at Adolescent Romantic Relationships by Carrie Mulford, Ph.D., and Peggy C. Giordano, Ph.D.
Who Perpetrates Teen Dating Violence?
For resources that offer assistance for both teens and adults, visit http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/teen_dating_violence.htm.