True or False? The Facts about Teen Dating Violence.

Follow the links to find out if these statements about teen dating violence are true or false.


1) Violence rarely happens in teenage dating relationships. TRUE or FALSE

2) Girls who stay in abusive relationships have no one to blame but themselves. TRUE or FALSE

3) Dating violence happens mostly to females. TRUE or FALSE

4) Dating violence is only physical violence. TRUE or FALSE

5) Using alcohol or drugs is a cause of dating violence. TRUE or FALSE

6) If the police are called when dating violence is committed, the victim has to press charges for an arrest to occur. TRUE or FALSE

7) Dating violence happens mostly to teenagers who provoke it. TRUE or FALSE

8) Teenagers frequently will tell someone about dating violence when it happens to them. TRUE or FALSE



Approximately one in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. An estimated 25 percent to 35 percent of adolescent abusers reported that their violence served to intimidate, frighten or force the other person to give me something.


It is the person who is using the abusive behavior who is responsible for the abuse and for instilling fear in the teem victim. It is difficult for teens to leave abusive relationships for various reasons. Fear of the abuser's threats is usually the #1 reason, but lack of social support or fear that nothing will happen to the abuser also are reasons. To end abuse in teen relationships, abusers much be held responsible for their behavior and possess a willingness to change.


Young women between the ages of 16-24 are the most vulnerable to intimate partner violence. Approximately one in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. Violence against women occurs in 20 percent of dating couples.


Dating violence is a pattern of assaultive and controlling behaviors that one person uses against another in order to gain or maintain power in the relationship. The abuser intentionally behaves in ways that cause fear, degradation and humiliation to control the other person. Forms of abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional and psychological.


Alcohol or other drugs are usually an excuse used to justify the abuser's use of violence. The cause of dating violence is the abuser making the choice to engage in this behavior. Substance abuse and dating violence are two different issues that need to be addressed separately.


If the police believe an assault has occurred based on the individuals' statements, possible witnesses, demeanor of one or both parties or any property destruction, they can make a warrantless arrest of the abuser. The victim will not press charges against the abuser. The prosecutor, not the victim, has sole responsibility for deciding whether or not to press charges against the abuser.


Abusers make decisions about when they will abuse, how frequently they'll abuse, what the severity will be be, and where the abuse will take place. This decision making process has nothing to do with the teen victim's demeanor or behavior.


If teenagers disclose to anyone, it's likely to be a friend or peer. Teenagers usually are reluctant to disclose they are a victim of abuse to adults because:

  • Resources may be unavailable to teens without parental involvement.
  • They may not trust adults
  • They may fear losing autonomy or independence.
  • They may feel they might get into trouble if they were doing something illegal like smoking pot, being at a rave party or drinking alcohol when the abuse occurred.
  • They may fear the abuser may retaliate against them.
  • They may feel that no one will believe them.
  • They may believe they can stop the abuse.
  • They may fear the reaction of their parents.
  • They may feel that even if they are believed, there will be a stigma attached to being a victim. Teens don't want this type of attention.
  • They may fear being "outed" if they are in a same-sex relationship.