Teen Dating Violence

Teen dating violence is a very real threat. Youth ages 12 to 19 years old experience the highest rates of rape and sexual assault. But rape isn’t the only kind of violence teens of all genders, ethnicities, and sexual orientations can face.

Teen staring into the camera. Looks sad

Teen victims of physical dating violence are more likely that their non-abused peers to smoke, use drugs, engage in unhealthy diet behaviors, engage in risky sexual behaviors or attempt or consider suicide. Individuals who are controlling of their partners are much more likely to also be physically assaultive, and this holds equally for both male and female perpetrators.

How can teens get out of an abusive relationship?

  • Learn the best route to get to a safe location.
  • Vary your routine to and from school, in outside activities and with friends.
  • Try to keep important documents, keys and cash with you.
  • Keep your cell phone charged and memorize important numbers.
  • Pick a safe and secret location where a friend or family member can pick you up.
  • If you don’t feel safe, don’t break up in person. If you decide to break up in person, do it in a public place and ask someone you trust to be nearby in case you need them.
  • Consider applying for a Temporary Restraining Order. In California, you can apply for a Temporary Restraining Order at age 13.
  • Think independently and trust your instincts.
  • Don’t let anyone talk you into doing something that’s not right for you.
  • Get support from someone you trust like a parent, teacher or counselor.
  • Call the National Teen Dating Violence Hotline at (866) 331-9474 or visit the Love is Respect website.
A teenage boy with a black hoodie on sits on a black couch facing a bearded man wearing glasses and a turtleneck
A non-binary student talking to a friend in front of their locker