Teen dating violence prevention and awareness month is a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in youth relationships. Dating abuse can happen to anyone, at any age, no matter what race or religion they are, and no matter what their level of education or economical background. Dating abuse also occurs in same sex relationships. However, an alarming number of teens experience abusive behavior in dating relationships (see below: The Surprising Facts of Dating Abuse)
What do we mean when we talk about dating abuse?
Dating abuse isn't an argument every once in a while, or a bad mood after a bad day. Dating abuse (or Relationship Abuse) is a pattern of controlling behavior that someone uses against a girlfriend or boyfriend. Abuse can cause injury and even death, but it doesn't have to be physical. It can include verbal and emotional abuse - constant insults, isolation from family and friends, name calling, controlling what someone wears-and it can also include sexual abuse.
If you, or someone you know, are a victim of dating violence, please call:
National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 1-866-331-9474 & 1-866-331-8453 (TTY)
You can also chat live on-line with a trained Peer Advocate from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. (CST) daily. The live chat (IM-style) on the loveisrespect website www.loveisrespect.org is an alternative method of contacting a peer advocate. You will get the same one on one, confidential information from a live, trained peer advocate just as you would if you contacted loveisrespect by phone.
Read A Message from OVW Director Susan B. Carbon about Teen Dating Violence.