Teen dating violence occurs between to people who are in a dating relationship and is a form of intimate partner violence. It can occur between any couple, regardless of sexual orientation, and begin at any time in a relationship. Teen dating violence can occur in many ways, including: physical, verbal/emotional, sexual, and digital abuse as well as isolation and/or stalking of the victim.
- Physical Abuse- Hitting, kicking, punching, biting, spitting, slapping, shoving, restraining, breaking bones, burning
- Verbal/Emotional Abuse- Intimidating, destruction of property, violence to an object, questioning decision making, guilt, blaming, making partner feel “crazy”, threatening to hurt partner, self, or others.
- Sexual Abuse- any unwanted sexual advances or contact, calling partner sexual names, forcing partner to view pornographic images, restricting access to birth control or condoms.
- Digital Abuse- Using technology to stalk, harasses, embarrass, threaten, or spy on partner.
- Isolation- Isolating partner from family, friends, or any support system.
- Stalking- Repeated phone calls or excessive number of texts, flooding email, following or using technology to track partner’s location, hidden cameras, going through garbage, showing up at partner’s work, school or home unannounced.
Teen dating violence can begin at any time in the relationship; the patterns in these relationships can be repeated during an individual’s lifetime throughout his or her relationships. Dating violence may start as teasing or joking, but can become more serious and intense. In these early phases, many label these behaviors as normal or acceptable, however if these behaviors are not confronted early they can develop into unhealthy and destructive patterns for both individuals in the relationship.