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Say NO MORE to Teen Dating Violence

Do you know where to go for help if you suspect a teen is in an abusive relationship?
KNOW MORE about the National Dating Abuse Helpline
READ MORE about what you can do if you think you are in an abusive relationship
SAY NO MORE to teen dating abuse

Check out our Teen Dating Violence Booklet for teens, parents and anyone working or coming in contact with teens and/or their parents.

What Is Teen Dating Violence?

Teen dating violence is a pattern of actions or threats of physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse by a teen (between the ages of 13 and 18) against a current or former dating partner. Any of these and more can be part of teen dating violence:

  • insults and put downs
  • coercion and control
  • peer pressure
  • sexting and texting
  • posting insults or threats online
  • threats
  • forced sex
  • hitting and hurting

Abusive teens use these kinds of behavior to keep power and control over a dating partner. Teen dating violence occurs in straight and gay (LGTBQ) relationships.

Recognizing that the person you love is controlling, abusive or violent is hard even for adults. Even when teens recognize that they are being abused, they may hesitate to turn to adults for support, understanding, and protection.

Teen Dating Violence is Common and Serious.

In a 2014 survey, 20% of teens report they've been the victim or perpetrator of physical or sexual abuse. 60% say that psychological abuse has occurred in their relationships.

According to teens themselves in a 2009 survey:

  • 80% of teenagers who have experienced abuse have talked to a friend about the abuse.
  • 32% talked to a parent.
  • 15% talked to a school counselor or social worker.
  • 21% visited websites or other online resources, and
  • 5% called an abuse hotline.

How do you know what to do when someone confides in you?
Loveisrespect.org has some great ideas for helping friends, family, your child, and even a stranger.  Also check out Break The Cycle's website.

Consequences can be fatal
PCADV's Domestic Violence Fatality Reports for 2008 through 2010 identify eight victims of dating violence: four were between ages 13 - 18, and four were 19-year-olds.

Dating relationships and the Pennsylvania Protection From Abuse (PFA) Act.
Teens (with some adult help) can go to a judge to get a Protection From Abuse order.

Safety planning is an important step
The local domestic violence program can help teens, parents, and schools fit safety plans to individual families. There are even online tools to help teens get started.

Many local domestic violence programs also have prevention educators who work in the schools to:

  • provide information about dating violence to students, teachers, guidance counselors and other school personnel
  • work extensively with schools to make sure that trained counselors are available on-site to assist students struggling with controlling or abusive relationships.

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.

High School Students Tackle Teen Dating Violence
for PCADV's "In Their Own Words" Contest

Congratulations to the winners of PCADV’s 2nd annual “In Your Own Words” Competition to promote awareness and prevention of teen dating violence (TDV).

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VIDEO DIVISION
1st Place: Timothy White, Bellefonte Area High School, Centre County
Watch the 1st Place Video on YouTube

Honorable Mention: Brittany Polzella, North Penn High School, Montgomery County
Watch the Video on YouTube

PRINT DIVISION
1st Place: Carly Loper, North Penn High School, Montgomery County

Honorable Mention: Ashlea-Anne Rosnick, Mount Lebanon High School, Allegheny County
Read the Article

Every participating student also was entered in a drawing to win an iPad. Austin Snyder of Line Mountain High School in Northumberland County won the drawing.

PCADV Works to Educate Communities about Teen Dating Abuse

  • PCADV's member programs work in every county to provide domestic violence victims and families with emergency shelter, housing options and other services to gain safety and stability. 
  • PCADV legal department attorneys provide technical assistance to advocates and attorneys helping domestic violence victims facing teen dating abuse legal issues.
  • PCADV regularly sponsors training for teachers, school administrators and other community partners on how to recognize and respond to dating violence. 
  • PCADV monitors legislation around teen dating abuse and technology abuse.

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