Teen Dating Violence

   1 in 3 high school students have been or will be involved in an abusive relationship.


Is Teen Dating Violence a Public Health Problem?

Yes.  Teen Dating Violence is a Public Health problem that impacts our community for several reasons:

  1. The subject is misunderstood, under-reported by teenagers, unnamed, and unaddressed in our community.
  2. Teenagers has relationship beliefs that abusive behaviors are “normal” or “okay”.
  3. There are barriers to reaching out for help.
  4. Like adult survivors, there are serious lifelong consequences and health concerns.

What is Teen Dating Violence?

Teen dating violence is a pattern of actual or threatened acts of physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse, perpetrated by an adolescent against a current or former dating partner.  The abusive teen uses this pattern of violent and coercive behavior, in a heterosexual or same gender dating relationship, in order to gain power and maintain control over the dating partner.

What are the different types of Abuse?

  • Physical Abuse- Any intentional, unwanted contact with your body by either the abuser or an object within the abuser’s control (choking, hitting, shoving, throwing objects, etc.).
  • Emotional/ Verbal Abuse- Anything the abuser says or does that causes you to be afraid, lowers your self-esteem, manipulates, or controls your feelings or behavior. (threats, insults, “checking-in”, excessive texting, humiliation, isolation, etc.).
  • Digital Abuse- The use of technology such as texting and social networking to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner.
  • Sexual Abuse- Any action that impacts a person’s ability to control their sexual activity or the circumstances in which sexual activity occurs, including restricting access to birth control or condoms.
  • Stalking- Being repeatedly watched, followed or harassed.
  • Financial Abuse- Using money or access to accounts to gain power and control over a partner.


Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime.  Teens often think some behaviors, like teasing and name calling, are a “normal” part of a relationship.  However, these behaviors can become abusive and develop into more serious forms of violence.

If you or someone you know is experiencing some form of relationship violence, help and information is available:

Center for Disease Control

Committed to stopping primary prevention of teen dating violence

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline

Offers peer support

1.866.331.9474       Text “loveis” to 22522

Break the Cycle

Offers information on teen dating violence

New Orleans Family Justice Center

Offers services and resources in Orleans Parish  ***if under the age of 18, parental consent is required***


All services listed above are FREE, SAFE & CONFIDENTIAL


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