Teens experiencing dating violence usually tell no one. One study found that only 6% of girls and 11% of boys told anyone about the abuse that they experienced (O'Keefe and Treister, 1998).Middle school, high school, and college age women experience a higher rate of rape than any other group.However, these behaviors can become abusive and develop into more serious forms of violence.Teen dating violence [PDF 187KB] is defined as the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence within a dating relationship, including stalking. Teen dating violence (physical and sexual) among US high school students: Findings from the 2013 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey. As teens develop emotionally, they are heavily influenced by experiences in their relationships.It includes stalking, harassment, physical or sexual abuse.
A 2001 study of high school students conducted by Harvard University found that one in five teenage girls had been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.
Teen dating violence and sexual assault is estimated to occur between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth at about the same rate as in straight teen relationships.
(NCAVP, 2001; Dahir, 1999) However, LGBTQ youth are even less likely than heterosexual youth to tell anyone or seek help, and there are fewer resources for these teens.
It can occur in person or electronically and might occur between a current or former dating partner. Healthy relationship behaviors can have a positive effect on a teen’s emotional development.
Several different words are used to describe teen dating violence. Dating violence is widespread with serious long-term and short-term effects. Unhealthy, abusive, or violent relationships can have severe consequences and short- and long-term negative effects on a developing teen.