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Unfortunately, teen dating violence—the type of intimate partner violence that occurs between two young people who are, or who were once in, an intimate relationship—is a serious problem in the United States.A national survey found that ten percent of teens, female and male, had been the victims of physical dating violence within the past year and can increase the risk of physical injury, poor academic performance, binge drinking, suicide attempts, unhealthy sexual behaviors, substance abuse, negative body image and self-esteem, and violence in future relationships.It is also when one partner tries to maintain power and control over the other through abuse/violence.This abuse/violence can take a number of forms: sexual assault, sexual harassment, threats, physical violence, verbal, mental, or emotional abuse, social sabotage, and stalking.With dating violence, early warning signs often begin with behaviors that are not physically violent.These behaviors may violate a person’s boundaries, be emotionally abusive, or otherwise controlling.In most cases of TDV, violence is used to get another to do what he/she wants, to gain power and control, to cause humiliation and to promote fear, and to retaliate against a partner (Foshee & Langwick, 2010).An article published by the National Institute of Justice discusses current research on TDV and concludes that there are three key differences between adult and teen dating relationships: Because the dynamics of intimate partner abuse are different in adolescent and adult relationships, it is important not to apply an adult framework of intimate partner violence to teen dating violence.
Dating abuse or dating violence is defined as the perpetration or threat of an act of violence by at least one member of an unmarried couple on the other member within the context of dating or courtship.
According to national research, 1 out of 3 teens report knowing friends or peers who have experienced dating abuse.
Worse, the Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey finds that 1 in 10 teens report being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.
“Small controlling behaviors might not seem like a big deal at the time, but they can escalate and eventually put someone at risk,” added Pinero.
“For example, demanding to know where someone is at all times, touching or pinching parts of someone's body in public when they’ve made it clear it’s unwanted, or controlling what type of clothes someone wears—these are all abusive behaviors that violate someone’s boundaries.” The laws about sexual violence and dating violence vary by state and situation.