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In Focus: Teen Dating Violence

Female teenager holding head in hand
Paul Matthew Photography/Shutterstock.com (see reuse policy).

Teen dating violence is a widespread issue that can lead to serious short- and long-term effects.

Victims are often more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety, think about suicide, and engage in unhealthy behaviors, like using tobacco, drugs, and alcohol.

Teen dating violence can occur between current and former dating partners, in person or electronically. Once teens experience violence in one relationship, research has shown they are at significant risk for experiencing violence in another relationship.

Identifying teen dating violence is key to breaking the cycle. It is critical that teachers, parents, coaches, or any others in a teen's life maintain awareness and take action to get help when it occurs. It is important that teens who experience dating violence seek help soon after so they can receive services to protect against the potential psychosocial impacts of violence and reduce the likelihood of future violence.

During Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (February), see the Teen Dating Violence Special Feature for information and resources from OJP and other federal agencies.

Learn More in the Special Feature

Publications and Resources

The Dynamic Context of Teen Dating Violence within Adolescent Relationships
This study examined the relational and situational context of teen dating violence (TDV), using innovative longitudinal data collection to overcome limitations of previous TDV studies.

Funded in part by the Office for Victims of Crime, LoveIsRespect.org promotes awareness of healthy dating relationships by making vital resources, including information about the National Dating Abuse Helpline, accessible to help teens experiencing dating violence and offering tips on preventing abusive relationships.

A National Survey Shines a Light on the Nature and Scope of Teen Dating Violence
This article presents information from the National Institute of Justice-funded National Survey of Teen Relationships and Intimate Violence (STRIV), which is the first effort to provide a comprehensive national portrait of teen dating violence with detailed measurements of both who perpetrates such violence and who has been victimized.

View More in the Special Feature

Date Created: August 17, 2020

Did You Know?

What is dating violence? The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) defines dating violence as violence committed by a person who… Read More

Are resources available to help teens in abusive relationships? If you are a teen in an abusive relationship or are concerned about someone's safety, please contact … Read More

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