Definition Of Teen Dating Violence

Teen dating violence is defined as a pattern of actual or threatened acts of physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse, perpetrated by an adolescent (between the ages of 13 and 18) against a current or former dating partner. Abuse may include insults, coercion, social sabotage, sexual harassment, threats and/or acts of physical or sexual abuse. The abusive teen uses this pattern of violent and coercive behavior, in a heterosexual or same gender dating relationship, in order to gain power and maintain control over the dating partner.

If you're in a dating relationship that in any way feels uncomfortable, awkward, tense or even frightening, trust your feelings and get out of it. It could become, or may already be, abusive.

Always remember: You have every right to say no. No boyfriend or girlfriend has the right to tell you what you can or should do, what you can or should wear, or what kind of friends you should have.

Dating violence includes any behavior by a dating partner that: 

  • Is used to manipulate
  • Is used to gain control 
  • Is used to gain power over someone
  • Makes a person feel bad about himself or herself or other people who are close to this person (such as friends or family)
  • Makes a person afraid of her or his boyfriend or girlfriend

Teen dating violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors that are used to gain power and control over a current or former dating partner. There are four types of dating violence. Some examples are listed for each type, but other abusive or coercive behaviors that are done with the intent of controlling the partner would also be considered dating violence.

  • Verbal  name-calling, putdowns, yelling or shouting, threatening the partner or one of the partner’s family members  
  • Psychological/Emotional Abusive – ignoring a dates feelings, insulting a date’s beliefs or values, acting in an intimidating way, using sexually derogatory names, calling dates names, isolating a date from others, driving recklessly to scare a date, displaying inappropriate anger, damaging personal property, scaring a date, keeping a date from leaving, putting down family and friends, humiliating a date in public or private, telling lies, purposefully injuring an animal, threatening to hurt oneself
  • Physical  hitting, slapping, punching, shoving, pinching, kicking, hair pulling, biting, throwing things, choking, using a weapon, pushing
  • Sexual – unwanted touching or kissing, forcing the partner to have sex or engage in any unwanted sexual activity, not allowing the partner to use birth control

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