Teen dating violence and abuse is defined as the physical, sexual, or psychological or emotional violence within a dating relationship, as well as stalking. It can occur in person or electronically and may occur between a current or former dating partner. Parents and teens are often unaware that teens are experiencing dating violence. While teen dating violence often starts with teasing and name calling, those behaviors in a relationship can set the stage for more serious violence such as physical assault or rape.
Victims of teen dating violence are likely to do poorly in school, engage in binge drinking, attempt suicide, exhibit antisocial behaviors and get in fights. Victims may also carry the patterns of dating violence into new relationships.
Because dating is an important part of adolescent development, it is important for parents and teens to recognize when a dating relationship has become abusive. Here are ten of the most common teen dating abusive behaviors.
- Checking someone’s email or phone without permission.
- Constantly being put down
- Extreme jealousy or insecurity
- Explosive temper
- Isolation from family or friends
- Making false accusations
- Mood swings
- Physical harm
- Possessiveness to the point of exclusivity
- Constantly being told what to do
If a teen you know is at risk of being abused, or is a victim of teen dating violence (researchers have found that 30% of both boys and girls report being victims of some form of violence in their dating relationships) it is important to get help.