Teen Dating Abuse

National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline:

Call 24/7:  866-331-9474
TTY:  866-331-8453

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Dating abuse is when one partner tries to exert power or control over his or her dating partner.  It can be a pattern of abusive behaviors that develop over time.

Unfortunately, violence in dating relationships is not uncommon: dating abuse affects around 1.5 million teens annually, and statistics show that 1 in 3 teenagers has experienced dating violence.  Dating violence can affect anyone.  Although most victims are women — who are also at greater risk for serious injury — it affects men as well.

Every relationship is different, and sometimes it can be hard to tell when it has crossed the line from healthy to unhealthy. The following are signs that your relationship may be going in the wrong direction:

  • Checking your cell phone or email without permission
  • Isolating you from family or friends
  • Constantly putting you down
  • Making false accusations
  • Telling you what to do
  • Extreme jealousy or insecurity
  • Physically hurting you in any way
  • Explosive temper
  • Mood swings
  • Possessiveness

Click here for a checklist and quizzes on elements of healthy, unhealthy, and even abusive relationships.

How to Get Help

If you (or someone you care about) is in an unhealthy relationship or is a victim of dating violence, know that you are not alone.  Help and support are available. No one deserves to be abused or threatened.  Remember that you cannot change your batterer, and in time, the violence will get worse, sometimes lethal.  You need to take care of yourself.

Talk to an adult you can trust, locate a shelter or agency serving victims of intimate partner violence/domestic abuse in your community, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233).

Peace Over Violence

Peace Over Violence In Touch With Teens (ITWT) program works to prevent the tragedy of relationship violence through education, advocacy, and organizing.

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Love is Respect

Love is Respect (originally the National Dating Abuse Helpline) engages and empowers young people to end abusive relationships.  They have peer advocates available 24/7. Call 866-331-9474 or TTY: 866-331-8453.  Or you can text “loveis” to 77054 (standard text rates apply).

Or, if you’d prefer to email or live chat:

Email & Live Chat

The Power and Control Wheel

For an interactive tool explaining what abuse may look like in unhealthy teen dating relationships, refer to The Power and Control Wheel as provided by Loveisrespect.org.

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If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911 right away.