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Teen Dating Abuse - Brief Guide: What Service Providers and Educators Need to Know

NCJ Number
Date Published
12 pages

This guide from the Violence Against Women Research Consortium instructs service providers and educators in what they should know about teen dating abuse.


The guide first defines “teen dating abuse” (TDA) as ”a pattern of controlling, abusive, or aggressive behavior towards a current or former dating partner, either in person or using social media or texting.” Regarding its prevalence, one in three teens experience some form of dating abuse. Teens who experience online abusive harassment or threats are also likely to be experiencing offline abuse. Only 33 percent of TDA victims tell someone about the dating abuse, with most of these telling a friend. Eighty-one percent of parents either do not believe TDA is an issue or acknowledge they do not know whether it is. Those most at risk for TDA victimization are girls, people of color, and LGBTQ teens; however, each victim is distinctive in responding to and experiencing needs related to their victimization. Still, this guide outlines some of the common signals that a person may be experiencing TDA. These include behavioral changes, such as inconsistent school attendance, new problem behaviors, request to change class or lunch hour, or unexplained injuries. Other major sections of the guide address how to be an adult ally for a teen experiencing abuse; “Some Do’s and Don’ts” in constructive interactions with TDA victims; helpful questions to ask a person who may be experiencing TDA; and the development of a safety plan for victims of TDA. 1 national resource and 7 resources specific to Arizona

Date Published: January 1, 2020