Each year, 1 in 10 American teenagers suffers physical violence at the hands of a boyfriend or girlfriend, and many others are sexually or emotionally abused. Dating violence can inflict long‑lasting pain, putting survivors at increased risk of substance abuse, depression, poor academic performance, and experiencing further violence from a partner. During National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, we renew our commitment to preventing abuse, supporting survivors, holding offenders accountable, and building a culture of respect.
Although girls and young women ages 16 to 24 are at the highest risk, dating violence can affect anyone. That is why everyone must learn the risk factors and warning signs. While healthy relationships are built on fairness, equality, and respect, dating violence often involves a pattern of destructive behaviors used to exert power and control over a partner. It can include constantly monitoring, isolating, or insulting a partner; extreme jealousy, insecurity, or possessiveness; or any type of physical violence or unwanted sexual contact. If you, a friend, or a loved one, is in an abusive relationship, the National Dating Abuse Helpline will offer immediate and confidential support. To contact the Helpline, call 1‑866‑331‑9474, text "loveis" to 22522, or visit www.LoveIsRespect.org. For more information on dating violence, please visit www.CDC.gov/features/datingviolence.
Each of us can play a role in ending dating violence ‑‑ in our schools, our homes, our neighborhoods, and our dormitories.
Below is a list of resources.
Dating Violence Resources
If you are having an emergency, please call 911. If you have been abused and need help, please reach out to the Dating Abuse Helpline by phone call (1-866-331-9474), text (text "loveis" to 77054) or online chat.
- Events: February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. To find the latest webinars and events during this month and other months during the year.
- Dating Matters®: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships: This initiative aims to promote respectful, nonviolent dating relationships among youth in high-risk urban communities. For more information on the communities participating in Dating Matters, visit here.
- Start Strong: Focused on preventing teen dating violence and abuse by teaching 11- to- 14-year-olds about healthy relationships. This innovative approach to prevention is rallying entire communities to promote healthy relationships and prevent teen dating violence in middle schools.
- CDC's National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): On December 14, 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) 2010 Summary Report. The findings show that, on average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. Over the course of a year, that equals more than 12 million women and men. Those numbers only tell part of the story –1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have been raped in their lifetimes, the vast majority before the age of 25.These findings demonstrate that sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence are important and widespread public health problems in the United States. The report underscores the heavy toll of this violence, particularly on women; the immediate impacts of victimization; and the lifelong health consequences of these forms of violence.
- Shifting Boundaries: A Summary of Findings from a National Institute of Justice Experimental Evaluation of a Youth Dating Violence Prevention Program in New York City Middle Schools: The National Institute of Justice has released a study by Bruce Taylor, Ph.D., Nan D. Stein, Ed.D., Dan Woods, Ph.D., Elizabeth Mumford, Ph.D., which examines the impact of a dating violence prevention program for middle school students in a large urban school district. Researchers concluded that a comprehensive school program was effective in reducing dating violence and sexual harassment.
While tremendous progress has been made since the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was first enacted, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are still significant problems facing women, families, and communities.The new VAWA bill signed into law by President Obama March 7, 2013 will continue effective programs, make targeted expansions to address the needs of especially vulnerable populations, and help prevent violence in future generations.
- Understanding Teen Dating Violence: Fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control explaining what dating violence is; how dating violence affects health; who is at risk for dating violence; and how to prevent dating violence.
- Healthy Relationships: Information from GirlsHealth.gov on forming healthy relationships and working through problems in relationships.
- Relationship Safety: Questions and answers from GirlsHealth.gov to help understand how to spot an unhealthy relationship and what to do if you or a friend is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship.
- What is Rape?: Information from GirlsHealth.gov about what rape and sexual assault are, what you should know about date rape drugs, who you can call for help, and tips on how to protect yourself.
- Dating Violence Resources: Hotline numbers and a list of links to other resources from the Department of Justice's Office of Violence Against Women.
- Sexual Assault Resources: Hotline numbers and a list of links to other resources from the Department of Justice's Office of Violence Against Women.
- Sexual Assault Fact Sheet: Information from WomensHealth.gov on what sexual assault is, what to do if you've been sexually assaulted, where to go for help, how to lower your risk of sexual assault, and how to help someone who has been sexually assaulted.
- Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Resources: Hotline numbers and links to other resources on each topic from the Department of Justice's Office of Violence Against Women.
- Break the Silence: Stop the Violence: Video from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in which parents talk with teens about developing healthy, respectful relationships before they start dating.
- Dating Matters: Understanding Teen Dating Violence Prevention: Free online course fromVetoViolence.org available to educators and others working with teens. The 60 minute training video includes information on how to: understand teen dating violence and its consequences; identify factors that can place teens at risk for dating violence; and communicate with teens about the importance of healthy relationships;
- Get Smart. Get Help. Get Safe.: Free training toolkit designed for trainers to assist specialized instructional support personnel (e.g., school psychologists, social workers, school nurses, guidance counselors) in identifying, assessing, effectively intervening in, and preventing teenage dating abuse.
- National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments: The Center helps campuses and communities address problems of alcohol, other drugs, and violence (including violence against women) by identifying effective strategies and programs based on prevention science.
- Campus Sexual Assault Guidance: Guidance from the Department of Education explaining that the requirements of Title IX cover sexual violence and reminds of their responsibilities to take immediate and effective steps to respond to sexual violence in accordance with the requirements of Title IX.
- Services, Training, Education and Policies to Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking in Secondary Schools Grant Program (STEP): This discretionary grant program run through the Department of Justice's Office of Violence Against Women supports middle and high schools to develop and implement effective training, services, prevention strategies, policies, and coordinated community responses for student victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
- Coaching Boys into Men: Provides coaches resources needed to start a program that helps the next generation build respectful and non-violent relationships.
- Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights
- Department of Justice's Office of Violence Against Women
- Violence Against Women (Office of Women's Health)
- Outreach Posters: Outreach posters from the Department of Justice's Office of Victims of Crime promote community awareness of victims' rights, including posters on violence against women, stalking, and domestic abuse.
- Sexual Assault Response Team Toolkit: A collection of resources that service providers may use to formalize, expand on, or evaluate their interagency responses.