Did you know that 1 in 3 high school students have been or will be involved in an abusive relationship?

What is Teen Dating Violence?

Teen dating violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors, physical, verbal, emotional, and/or sexual, that one person uses to get power and control over another. Abusers in teen dating relationships, like those in adult relationships, use abuse because they CHOOSE to. They believe that they are entitled to use these methods to keep their dating partner under control. Abusers tend to make excuses for their use of violence or will usually put the responsibility for their abuse on someone else. For example, “you made me do it” is a statement abusers often use.

Warning Signs of Abuse…

The person you’re dating –

    • Checks your cell phone or email without permission
    • Constantly puts you down
    • Is extremely jealous or insecure
    • Get angry easily
    • Isolates you from family or friends
    • Makes false accusations
    • Has unpredictable mood swings
    • Physically hurts you in any way
    • Verbally threatens to hurt you
    • Uses force during an argument
    • Is possessive
    • Tells you what to do

Abusive relationships have good times and bad times and part of what makes it so confusing and painful is that there is love mixed with the abuse. This can make it hard to tell if you are really being abused.

Unfortunately, without help, the violence usually gets worse. If you think you may be in an abusive relationship, you can talk to an advocate at the Women’s Freedom Center about it.