Dating violence among teens

In the current social climate abuse amongst teenagers often manifests itself primarily as coercive control and through digital or electronic mechanisms.

These forms of abuse are often challenging to identify because they are extremely normalized in society and at the same time, inherently more private.

Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.

There is a large number of diverse youth dating abuse victims, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ) individuals, immigrants, those with limited English proficiency, and those who may be religiously affiliated who indicate they have not disclosed abuse to anyone.

Youth also report concerns that the abuse will be disclosed to their parents and/or Child Protective Services, or that their partners will be notified, thus subjecting them to more abuse.

It is also evident that many service providers and institutions (such as law enforcement, prosecutors and judges) that interact with teens have limited knowledge of complex abuse dynamics in all intimate-partner relationships, as well as limited knowledge in collaborating on ongoing safety strategies with and for teen victims.

Other identified gaps are present in rural programs.

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When assessing for dating abuse, it is important to meet young people at where they are clarifying any terms used to describe being in a romantic partnership, or having sexual contact, and stating a number of examples of various tactics of abuse.

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