Teen dating violence

In the United States, teens and young women experience the highest rates of relationship violence. In fact, 1 in 10 female high schoolers say a dating partner in the past year has physically abused them.

If you haven’t dated much, it can be hard to know when a relationship is unhealthy. Some signs of teen dating abuse include:

It is never okay for someone to hit you or be cruel to you. You may think alcohol or drugs make a partner abusive. Those things may increase the chances of abuse, but they never make it right.

You also may think it is your fault that your partner has hurt you. But you don’t control how your partner acts, and you can’t make someone mistreat you.

Keep in mind that if you sometimes hit your partner first, you can get help learning how to stop. Talk to a mental health professional, like a school counselor, or a doctor or nurse.

  • Constantly texting or sending instant messages (IMs) to monitor you
  • Insisting on getting serious very quickly
  • Acting very jealous or bossy
  • Pressuring you to do sexual things
  • Posting sexual photos of you online without permission
  • Threatening to hurt you or themselves if you break up
  • Blaming you for the abuse

Teenage girls in physically abusive relationships are much more likely than other girls to become pregnant. Abuse can get worse during pregnancy, and it can harm the baby growing inside you. Never get pregnant hoping that it will stop the abuse. You can ask your doctor about types of birth control that your partner doesn’t have to know you are using.

If you are under 18, your partner could get arrested for having sex with you, even if you agreed to have sex. Laws covering this are different in each state. You can learn more about the laws in your state.