Young adult dating violence is a big problem, affecting youth in every community across the nation.

Nearly 1.5 million high school students experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a year.

One in three adolescents is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure far exceeding rates of other types of youth violence.

One in ten high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped, or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.

The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.


Violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence.

Half of all youth who have been victim of both dating violence and rape, attempt suicide, compared to 12.5% of non-abused girls and 5.4% of non-abused boys.


Only 33% of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse.

81% of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know it is an issue.

82% of parents feel confident they could recognize the signs if their child was experiencing dating abuse; however, 58% could not identify all the warning signs of abuse.

Roughly 1.5 million high school boys and girls admit to being intentionally hit or physically harmed in the past year by someone they were romantically involved.

Teens who suffer dating abuse are subject to long-term consequences such as alcoholism, eating disorders, promiscuity, thoughts of suicide, and violent behavior.

Violent behavior often begins between 6th and 12th grades.  72% of 13 and 14 year olds are dating.

Teens who have been abused hesitate to seek help because they do not want to expose themselves or are unaware of the laws surrounding dating/domestic violence.


  • Your personal growth cannot flourish in the relationship.

—A relationship should be your safe haven.  You do not need to sacrifice your goals and ambitions to be in a relationship.  A healthy relationship supports both partners goals.

  • You feel as if the life is being sucked out of you.

—If you feel like you are in a relationship that is draining your energy and leaves you feeling tired or exhausted, the relationship needs to be re-evaluated.

  • They don’t “get it” that it’s not all your fault!

—Have you heard the adage “It takes two to argue”.  It’s true.  Relationships defined by conflict, blaming, and lack of forgiveness  spell disaster.  If you are involved with someone who tends to blame you for everything wrong in the relationship or their anger, stop expecting your partner to comprehend what you are saying.   Your partner’s unreasonable behavior is never an excuse.

  • One person has most of the power over the two of you.

—A sign of an unhealthy relationship is when one partner has more power over you than you have yourself.  Remember, no one has power over you unless you give it to them.

  • Being “in need” is confused with being “in love”.

—Look out for possessiveness and jealousy.  If your partner’s love is contingent on “what you can do for me” realize that room for two in this relationship is not possible.  If no foundation of trust exists, it’s a warning of more trouble ahead.

  • Is it love or infatuation?

—How do you know?  One sure sign is when times get tough, the tough get going.  It’s easy to be part of the winning team, but when life does not go so smoothly, it reveals the depth of the relationship.  Love is less about what a person can do for you and more about what you can do for the other person, especially through challenging times.

  • You feel worse about yourself.

—If a relationship makes you feel worse about yourself and less comfortable, it is time to rid yourself of the relationship.  Mature relationships are based on acceptance and not judgmental of how they perceive you should be.

  • The focus is on changing the other person.

—In unhealthy relationships, the focus is more about changing a partner instead of changing yourself.  In a mutually respectful relationship, people are respected for who they are and are not someone’s project.

  • You lose yourself trying to find someone else.

—Last, but not least, make sure you don’t lose yourself trying to find someone else.  As much as you may think you need someone else, you need yourself much more.

If you or someone you care for has been a victim of dating violence, contact Victim Services at http://www.vsob.org or call (432)263-3312.Domestic Violence

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