Definition: Teen dating violence is a pattern of controlling behavior exhibited towards one teenager by another in a dating relationship. There are three major types of teen dating violence:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9% of high school students reported that they had been purposely physically hurt by a dating partner in the past year (CDC – 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance questionnaire). A survey of adult victims of dating violence found that nearly 1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 7 men first experienced partner violence between the ages of 11 and 17 (CDC, 2012 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey).
Close to half of adolescents between the ages of 11 and 14 have dated (Liz Claiborne, Inc./Teen Research Unlimited, Tween and Teen Dating Violence and Abuse Study, 2008). Since dating relationships begin in early adolescence, prevention programs must start with this age group in order to be effective in deterring teen dating violence. Although more research is needed, Safe Dates, the Youth Relationships Project, the 4th R curriculum, the Ending Violence curriculum, and the Shifting Boundaries program are all promising practices for increasing awareness of the risks and consequences of dating violence and/or reducing teen dating violence behavior.