The first stirring of romantic and sexual feelings can be an exciting time for an adolescent and dating can be lots of fun. However, being intimate with another person can make teens vulnerable to violence at the hands of their romantic partner. Teens who experience abuse, whether physical, sexual or emotional may find themselves feeling confused and ashamed and unsure of where to turn.
- It is important for any victim of abuse to understand they are not at fault. It is also important for victims to seek out help.
- The best thing to do is to confide in a parent, teacher or other trusted adult. If that is not possible, teens who are experiencing dating violence should turn to their friends for support.
- Nonetheless, the reality is that many teens who are victims of abuse at the hands of a romantic partner tell no one.
- For teen who cannot bring themselves to tell anyone about what they are going through, there are many non-profit organizations and resource centers that are available to help.
LOVE IS RESPECT: A project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, love is respect offers 24/7 information, support, and advocacy to young people between the ages of 13 and 26 who have questions or concerns about their romantic relationships. We also provide support to concerned friends and family members, teachers, counselors, and other service providers through the same free and confidential services via phone, text, and live chat. Pull down menus include About dating, Healthy relationships, Personal safety, Support others and Get help.
NATIONAL TEEN DATING ABUSE HOTLINE: The National Dating Abuse Helpline is the direct service provider behind loveisrespect.org , operating the 24/7 text, phone, and live chat services. The texting function of the Helpline allows for users to text the Helpline advocates 24 hours a day, seven days a week about anything ranging from questions about healthy dating to raising red flags about relationships. The Helpline’s peer advocates serve thousands of teens and young adults through the 24/7 phone service. Users call 1-866-331-9474 to be connected with an advocate who is trained to offer education, support and advocacy to those involved in dating abuse relationships as well as concerned friends, siblings, parents, teachers, law enforcement members and service providers.
TEEN DATING VIOLENCE (ACADV): This page from the website of the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Valence offers good information about teen violence, including warning signs, that a dating partner may become abusive. It also provides the Teen Dating Power and Control Wheel.
PREVENTING TEEN DATING VIOLENCE: Learn how to prevent teen dating violence and to promote healthy relationships with CDC’s online resources, statistical facts of teen dating violence, and strategies to promote healthy teen relationships.
DATING VIOLENCE PREVENTION: This site from youth.gov offers information on Characteristics of Healthy & Unhealthy Relationships, Prevalence, Electronic Aggression, Gender Considerations, Risk Factors, Prevention Programs, Consequences, Legal Responses, Victim and Survivor Resources, Public Awareness and Additional Federal Resources.
DATING MATTERS: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships is a comprehensive teen dating violence prevention model developed by CDC to stop teen dating violence before it starts. Dating Matters is an evidence-based teen dating violence prevention model that includes prevention strategies for individuals, peers, families, schools, and neighborhoods. It focuses on teaching 11-14 year old’s healthy relationship skills before they start dating and reducing behaviors that increase the risk for dating violence, like substance abuse and sexual risk-taking.
STATE LAWS ON TEEN DATING VIOLENCE: Scroll down on the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) page to find your state laws. The list is for enacted legislation through 2014 but you can also view current state actins related to teen dating violence and other injury and violence prevention topics through a link to he Injury and Violence Prevention Legislation Database.