Dating violence (or relationship abuse) is a pattern of over-controlling behavior that someone uses against a girlfriend or boyfriend. Dating violence can take many forms, including mental/emotional abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. So, you may experience dating violence even if you are not being physically abused. It can occur in any type of relationship- straight, gay, lesbian, or bisexual- and in both casual dating situations and serious, long-term relationships. Boys, as well as girls, can be victims.

Below are some commonly asked questions that may help you:

Is teen dating violence similar to adult domestic violence?

When and where does the abuse happen?

What is the difference in dating violence for boys and girls?

Recognizing Dating Violence: Things to Look For

If you have a teen who is dating, be alert for signs of abuse, both physical and emotional. Outward signs can include having bruises, scratches or other injuries and sudden changes in mood or personality.

Click here for more information: What are the signs of dating violence?

Key Statistics
Relationship violence is an epidemic, one-third of teens report experiencing some kind of abuse in their romantic relationships, including verbal and emotional abuse.

Find out more: How often does teen dating violence happen?

How YOU can help

There are many ways a parent can be an advocate against teen dating violence!

For a quick overview and guide on how to get started: 10 Questions - Talking to your teen about abuse

How to Talk To Your Child About Developing Healthy Relationships This booklet can help you not only start the conversation with your child but it includes some tips on what to remember and what to say. Also provides a quiz for both the parents and child to take to better understand relationships.

Find out how to take an active role: How can I help prevent my teen from experiencing dating violence?

How can I talk to my teen about dating violence? Includes tips and advice on how to have this vital conversation along with important goals to remember.

What if my teen doesn't want to talk to me? Advice and reasons for your teen's silence.

Know Your Teen's Rights at School!

Four of five students — boys and girls — report that they have experienced some type of sexual harassment in school.

• 83% of girls and 79% of boys report having ever experienced harassment.
• For many students sexual harassment is an ongoing experience: over 1 in 4 students experience it "often."
• These numbers do not differ by whether the school is urban or suburban or rural.
• 76% of students have experienced non-physical harassment while 58% have experienced physical harassment.
- Non-physical harassment includes taunting, rumors, graffiti, jokes or gestures.

Source: American Association of University Women Educational Foundation,

Title IX offers your teen protection against sexual harassment in school.
To learn more, click here: What are my teen’s rights at school regarding sexual harassment?

New Legislation Protecting Your Teen!

- On May 18, 2007, HB 121 was signed into law by the Governor of Texas. HB 121 says that every school district in Texas must adopt and implement a dating violence policy.
- To learn about HB 121 and School Dating Violence Policies, click here: What are my teen’s rights at school regarding dating violence?


Get Help - Stop Domestic Violence in Travis County

Travis County Domestic Violence Resource Video

Related Documents

10 Questions- Talking to Your Teen About Abuse-

How to Talk To Your Child About Developing Healthy Relationships-

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