Teen Dating Abuse

By: Taya Church

Teen Dating Abuse

Dating as a teenager may increase your chances of experiencing relationship abuse in your lifetime. Since teenagers start dating at a young age, they may experience an abusive relationship sooner than they would have if they decided to start dating later on.

How Widespread Is It?

"Nearly 25% of 14-17 year-olds surveyed know at least one student who was a victim of dating violence, while 11% know multiple victims of dating violence. 33% of teens have actually witnessed such an event" (National Teen Dating Violence Prevention Initiative).


Effects on Wellness


For many teens, abusive behaviors are overlooked by kids their age as acts of 'love' or their way of showing affection. They view the actions ' I need to know where you are at all times' as an act of protecting their 'territory' and secluding you from speaking to certain people as just a 'jealousy' thing. It is overlooked because a lot of teenagers seem to be oblivious to the fact that acting insane or insanely controlling is not an act of love.

Reducing the Risk

Noticing early warning signs is a great way to avoid or reduce dealing with an abusive relationship. If you can notice when something is unhealthy in the relationship before it gets too far is a great way to protect yourself or someone you know who is in that relationship.

Talking to your family or someone you trust. If you know someone who has gone through something like that, they'll be able to help you if they see any red flags before you do. In a lot of cases, people who are on the other side of the story or 'bystanders' are easier to tell if something is wrong.

Get to know them before you're in a relationship, and pay attention to how they act. You can sometimes tell what type of person someone is on how they treat someone close to them, or complete strangers. If they treat someone they don't know really badly, or treat someone they supposedly care about badly, keep that in mind. It could possibly be a sign (as mentioned above).

Dating Abuse: Tools for Talking to Teens


These are good sources to use in case you ever need them. Here's why:


This website comes with a number to get in touch with them (1-866-331-9474) in case you need to talk over the phone, it comes with the history of the website, the board of Directors, and a 2014 year end review. This trustworthy website wants people to be able to get to know them if you need some form of trust first, and they want to help.


Since teens start dating at such a young age, they are more than likely going to experience abuse, than if they chose to wait until they were older. In case they do go through it, they need to know that just because everyone else their age sees it as a way to show affection, doesn't mean it is. They need to know that there are places they can go to if they need the help.