Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month:
February 2015

By Dana Orr, Senior Health Educator


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teen dating violence is defined as the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence within a dating relationship, including stalking. It can occur between a present or former dating partner and can be face-to-face, by text, email, various electronic and social media methods.

Unhealthy relationships can start early in a young person’s life and last throughout their lifetime. Some behaviors like teasing and name calling are often overlooked as “normal” relationship behaviors.  Even if these types of behaviors start out innocently they can quickly become abusive and violent.

In our information-driven world, we hear many words to describe teen dating violence and include: relationship abuse, intimate partner violence, relationship violence, dating abuse, domestic abuse, and domestic violence. Often the victim is left with lasting effects and tolerate the abuse for fear to tell anyone.  A 2011 CDC nationwide survey found that 23% of females and 14% of males who ever experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, first experienced some form of partner violence between 11 and 17 years of age.   A 2013 survey found approximately 10% of high school students reported physical victimization and 10% reported sexual victimization from a dating partner in the 12 months before they were surveyed.

If you are not sure if behavior you or a friend is experiencing may be considered unhealthy and abusive, please check out www.loveisrespect.org.  For more information on dating violence consequences or why it happens visit:  http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/teen_dating_violence.html