February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

Teen Dating Violence
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Each year, nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner. At a rate far higher than other forms of youth violence, teen dating violence impacts 1 in 3 adolescents in the United States through physical, sexual, emotional and verbal abuse.

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month is a national effort to raise awareness about dating violence, promote programs that support young people, and encourage communities to prevent this form of abuse with the goal of decreasing the prevalence of dating violence among young people.

Dating violence can happen to any teen in a romantic, dating, or sexual relationship, anytime, anywhere. But it doesn’t have to happen at all. Learn how to prevent teen dating violence and to promote healthy relationships with CDC’s online resources.

Did you know that in a recent national survey, 1 in 10 teens reported being hit or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend at least once in the 12 months before the survey? Additionally, during the 12 months before the survey, 1 in 10 teens reported they had been kissed, touched, or physically forced to have sexual intercourse when they did not want to at least once by someone they were dating.

Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime. Teens often think some behaviors, like teasing and name calling, are a “normal” part of a relationship. However, these behaviors can become abusive and develop into more serious forms of violence. That is why adults need to talk to teens now about the importance of developing healthy, respectful relationships.

Dating violence can have a negative effect on health throughout life. Victims of teen dating violence are more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety. They might also engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as using tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. Teens who are victims in high school are at higher risk for victimization during college. Read more.

Teen Dating Violence Fact Sheet

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