WHAT IS ADOLESCENT DATING ABUSE?
Adolescent Dating Abuse is a pattern of behavior used to control and intimidate an adolescent partner. It includes but is not limited to hitting, yelling, threatening, name calling, and any form of emotional or sexual abuse. It can happen to adolescents at any age, no matter their level of education or economic background. Dating Violence can be present across relationships of all sexual orientations with current or former partners. Unhealthy and abusive relationships can also occur in friendships.
In Orange County, 1 in 4 adolescents (boys & girls) is in a physically abusive relationship. That means that 1 in 4 of your friends today is being hurt by a partner. Yes, adolescent dating abuse happens to boys too!
Similar to adult domestic violence, adolescent dating violence is about one adolescent using abuse to gain power and control over another in an intimate relationship.
Many adolescents and parents are unaware that adolescent dating abuse is happening.
Statistics show that 81% of parents believe adolescent dating abuse is not an issue or admit they don't know if it’s an issue. -“Women’s Health,” June/July 2004, Family Violence Prevention Fund & Advocates for Youth.
Remember, adolescent dating violence is about a pattern of abuse. The abuse is consistent and constant. It will not begin with a punch, slap, or a kick, it will begin with a word or a "look in the eye."