Parents

Teen Dating ViolenceDefine Teen Dating Violence
First and most importantly, you need to understand what Teen Dating Violence is. Below are some commonly asked questions that may help you:

What is dating violence?

Is teen dating violence similar to adult domestic violence?

What is Relationship Violence?

Who does dating violence affect?

When and where does the abuse happen?

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

Does dating violence happen in homosexual relationships?

Key Statistics
How often does it happen?

• Relationship violence is the number one cause of injury to women between the ages of 15-44.
• 70% of severe injuries and deaths occur when the victim is trying to leave or has already left the relationship.
• 70% of pregnant teenagers are abused by their partners.
• 63% of boys ages 11-20 arrested for murder were arrested for murdering the man who was assaulting their mother.
• 38% of date rape victims are young women between the ages of 14 and 17.
• 24% of female homicide victims are between 15 and 24 years old.

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 include:
- Having bruises and injuries.
- Changing the way she looks or dresses.
- Dropping old friends.
- Giving up things she cares about.

New friends as well as changes in attitudes, styles, hobbies, and school activities are common in young people. Still, they can be clues that a teen is being controlled by a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Emotional abuse is harder to recognize than physical abuse since it happens over time and can take several forms, including:
- Name-calling
- Put downs
- Blame
- Threats
- Envy
- Anger
- Attempts to control a partner’s dress, activities, and friendships

A young person who suffers emotional abuse may become insecure, destructive, angry, or withdrawn. He also may abuse alcohol or drugs.

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?

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RELATED DOCUMENTS

10 Questions - Talking to your teen about abuse- A pamphlet that will help you start a conversation with your teen. Includes stories of other parents whom have addressed the issue of Teen Dating Violence.

A Practical Guide To Discussing Relationship Abuse- This booklet defines what a abusive relationship is, it gives you warning signs and also gives you an inside look on what you should do if you are experiencing abuse in your relationship.