Teen dating violence TDV is a type of intimate partner violence. It occurs between two people in a close relationship. Dating violence can take place in person or electronically, such as repeated texting or posting sexual pictures of a partner online without consent. Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime. However, many teens do not report unhealthy behaviors because they are afraid to tell family and friends.
Unchecked TDV can entrench a lifetime pattern of perpetration by abusers and acceptance of abuse by victims. TDV encompasses a broad range of abusive behaviors perpetrated in relationships between teenagers aged However, TDV differs from IPV or Domestic Violence in that adolescent perpetrators may also use different mechanisms than adults to control their victims, particularly social media. It is also important to note that teens may have difficulty recognizing that they are being abused. The rapidly growing awareness of TDV presents an opportunity for judges, courts, and court-related professionals to protect victims, intervene with perpetrators, and educate the communities they serve on their role in prevention. The teen years are a period of peak learning capacity and potential for change.
Unhealthy relationships often start early. Especially in their first few relationships, teens may not know what behaviors are healthy or unhealthy. Teenage dating violence is just as serious as adult domestic violence, especially because it often starts a pattern of abuse or victimization that lasts a lifetime. The severity of intimate partner violence in adulthood is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence. Youth receive messages about how to behave in relationships from peers, adults in their lives, and the media.
Reuters Health - Middle schools that offer a comprehensive dating violence prevention program in every grade may have fewer youth involved in abusive relationships, a U. The goal of the program, called "Dating Matters," is to give young people, their families and their communities prevention strategies to help prevent teen dating violence. The program, available for free from the U. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention bit. Many prevention programs target older teens, and often involve high school students being lectured in health classes.