Teen Dating Violence & Dating Abuse



What is Dating Violence?

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: 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.  But, there are warning signs of abuse.

The following are signs that your relationship may be going in the wrong direction:

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

You can click here for a checklist quiz on elements of healthy, unhealthy, and even abusive relationships.

You can also find a quick “What is Dating Violence 101″ summary here.

How to Get Help:

If you are a teenager involved in an abusive relationship, you need to remember than no one deserves to be abused or threatened.  Remember that you cannot change your batterer, and in time the violence will get worse.  You need to take care of yourself.  Talk to an adult you trust, or locate a shelter or agency serving victims of domestic abuse in your community or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

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.  There is help and support available.

Love is Respect has peer advocates that you can talk to anytime, 24/7.  Call 1-866-331-9474 or Text “loveis” to 77054 (standard text rates apply).  Or, if you’d prefer to email or live chat, click here.

Break the Cycle is a group dedicated entirely to ending teen dating violence.  Click here for information and help on how to stay safe.

Always remember, if you or someone you know is in immediate danger, do not be afraid to call 911 right away!


Please note the following 24 hour crisis numbers are confidential non-judgmental support service where staff and volunteers are available to provide emotional support, advocacy, information and referrals.

  • 1-800-978-3600 (Southern California): The hotline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Callers can get help in eleven languages (English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog, Khmer, Japanese, Thai and Armenian).
  • 213-626-3393 (Central Los Angeles)
  • 310-392-8381 (South Los Angeles)
  • 626-793-3385 (West San Gabriel Valley)
  • 877-633-0044 (Stalking Hotline)

National Domestic Violence Hotline:

  • 800.799.SAFE (7233)
  • 800.787.3224 TTY

Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN)

  • 800.656.HOPE (4673)