An alarming number of teenagers and young adults in this country have become victims of physical, emotional or sexual abuse at the hands of their dating partner. An estimated one in ten high school students have been hit, slapped, or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend. This violent behavior often begins between the ages of 12 and 18.

Warning signs of abuse can vary, but often include:

  • Hitting, slapping, grabbing, or shoving
  • Verbal insults, put downs, name calling, bullying, guilt trips, and the silent treatment
  • Jealousy, constantly accusations of wrongdoing, and possessive behavior
  • Monitoring your phone calls, texts and social media accounts
  • Controlling behavior such as telling you what to do, what to wear, who to talk to, how to spend your money, or who to associate with
  • Isolating you from friends and family
  • Making excuses for abusive behavior or making you feel that you deserve it
  • Showing up unexpectedly or uninvited
  • Pressuring you to engage in sexual activity, and threatening to spread rumors about you if you refuse
  • Physically forcing you to engage in sexual activity

If you feel you are in an abusive relationship, talk to someone you trust, such as a parent, friend, teacher, counselor or school officer.

If you think someone you know is in an abusive relationship, tell an adult.

If you suspect a friend or classmate is in danger, call 911

Destructive relationships during the teen years can lead to lifelong, unhealthy relationship practices and contribute to behaviors that may result in chronic mental and physical conditions in adulthood.

Furthermore, teens that are physically hurt by a dating partner are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, binge drinking, and drug use.

If you or someone you know is the victim of teen dating violence, call our Domestic Violence Bureau at (914) 995-3000.


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