Teen dating violence is what happens in a teen dating relationship when
one person uses abuse to gain power and keep control over their partner.
This abuse can be physical, emotional, or sexual
The prevalence of teen dating violence and abuse is astonishing. Research
indicates that 50% of 18-year-old women have experienced abuse in at least
one dating relationship, and more than one in four teenagers have faced
violence in a dating relationship. Ninety-five percent of reported abuse
is male violence toward females. However, abuse can happen in many types
of relationships, between boyfriends and girlfriends, as well as in gay
or lesbian relationships.
Unfortunately, due to peer pressure and isolation, teens tend to have
a higher tolerance for accepting these abuses, often believing that these
actions validate their love or bond for each other. Additionally, they
lack clear direction on how to handle abusive situations, seek help, terminate
the relationship, and enhance the quality of healthy relationships. Often,
these teens themselves are from families where domestic violence is common.
However, teen dating violence can happen to anyone no matter where they
live, or what kind of home they come from.
This project aims to raise awareness and reduce the incidents of teen
dating violence and abuse. This project also empowers teen-aged youth
to "give back to the community" by becoming role models in the fight against
dating abuse and violence and sharing the information they have with their
ARE YOU IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP?
Take this quiz and see.
"A person I know was in a destructive relationship. This person is
in a private school. Her boyfriend always tried to control her in front
of her friends. She told me that she wanted to break up, but she thought
she could change him. But, instead of it getting better, it got worse.
He started to hit her. She thought he wanted to kill her. After she was
battered and bruised, she went to the police with her friends. Her ex-boyfriend
is now serving time in prison. And, at last, she is free.."
Darkness, age 18
At the age of 15, I was involved in a seriously violent relationship.
It started when I had been talking to a girl I used to call my Cheetah-she
could run like the wind and also had a slap that brought wind, too. I
thought the relationship was love until every day or most of the time,
when we had an argument I would get slapped for no apparent reason. She
slapped me, called me names, and would tell me she loved me whenever she
had done something I didn't appreciate. The relationship continued for
about ten months, but then I had had enough…
During the eleventh month, about two months after my
grandmother passed away, I told Cheetah that I didn't want to be with
her and she got mad at me. She got so upset, she said, "F*** you, your
mother, and your dead grandmother!" The emotion and anger overtook my
body and for the first time in my life I hit a girl - most of all I hit
'my Cheetah.' I felt wrong. I felt like God was going to send me to hell.
And to make it worse, I felt a little better until she started to cry.
I had never hit a girl in my life. I never meant to hurt her.
Jerome, age 15
I know this guy and we're friends. He's 19, and he was going with this
girl who was 16. She was his first love. It got to the point where he
loved her so much that he would get mad at her. He told me that one time
he sent her to get a box of pizza, and she came home later than she should
have. When she got home he grabbed her by the neck until she couldn't
breathe and when he let her go, she fainted. There was also a situation
when he pulled a gun on her and almost shot her. So, then he stopped and
thought about it and told her he had to let her go, because he saw that
he loved her so much that he might kill her.
Lisa, age 18
Tasha and her boyfriend, Fatboy have been going together since last February.
During their relationship, Fatboy used to tell her, "Ooh, I love you"
and other things that would make her feel good. She would go over to his
house and they would play around. While playing around, Fatboy would hit
her first in play but sometimes it became serious. She never told anyone.
Finally, she got tired of being hit. It was wearing her down and she wanted
to break up with Fatboy. He didn't want to. Every time he hit her she
would cry. The more she cried the more he would hit her. They lived near
each other and Fatboy wouldn't let her see any other boys because he said
that he was still in love with her. She decided to go back with him. He
felt good about getting back with Tasha, but he still didn't know how
to act. He showed his love for her by kissing her hand. But he still played
hard with her. They have broken up and have gotten back together several
Tasha, age 14