Home > Teens > Puberty and Sex > Teens and Dating > Dating Violence and Your Teen: Know the Facts
|

Dating Violence and Your Teen: Know the Facts

In February 2009, teen pop star Chris Brown allegedly beat and verbally threatened his celebrity girlfriend Rihanna inside his car before leaving her and driving off. Rihanna is 21 years old; Brown is 19.

While stories such as this don't usually make national headlines, Brown and Rihanna have spotlighted a very real issue amongst teens. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teen dating abuse affects 1 out of every 11 high school students.

Teen dating violence, as defined by the Crime and Violence Prevention Center (CVPC), includes hitting, yelling, threatening, name calling, or any other form of verbal, sexual, emotional, or physical abuse. It affects every race, gender, religion, and socioeconomic class, and occurs in both heterosexual and gay relationships. Although both men and women can be the abuser, the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center (NYVPRC) states that females ages 16-24 are almost three times more likely to be the victim of partner abuse than the national average of any other age group.

Q: Do you think teen dating violence is an issue that needs to be addressed?

83% 

Yes.

6% 

No.

11% 

I don't know.

416 Total votes cast.

Teens who are involved in an abusive relationship usually do not tell loved ones of their situation, so it is important for parents, guardians, and close friends to recognize any warning signs. Alarmingly, a recent survey conducted by the NYVPRC found that 81% of parents either believe teen dating violence is not an issue, or admit they don't know if it's an issue. To help raise awareness, NYVPRC provides some signs to be conscious of, including:

  • Unexplained bruising, scratches, or injuries
  • Signs a teen is afraid of his/her boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Controlling behavior exhibited by a boyfriend or girlfriend, and acting jealous and/or possessive
  • Critical and insulting behavior by a teen's boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Abusive behavior by a boyfriend or girlfriend toward other people or things
  • The need for the teen to apologize for his/her boyfriend or girlfriend's behavior
  • Loss of interest in school, activities, or hobbies
  • Sudden appearance and behavior changes
  • Mood changes such as acting depressed, secretive, anxious, or acting out
  • Starting to use drugs and/or alcohol

Although some of these signs are part of normal teen behavior, there is a cause for concern if these changes happen suddenly or without explanation.



|


highlights

7 Tips to Childproof Your Smartphone
Before you hand over your smartphone or tablet, follow these childproofing tips to help keep both your child and your device safe.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

11 Survival Tips for Summer Boredom
When the kids are home all day, every day, summer boredom strikes hard and fast. Learn the best summer boredom busters for children of all ages.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks