Teen dating violence (TDV) is a type of intimate partner violence. It occurs between two people in a close relationship.
TDV includes four types of behavior:
- Physical violence is when a person hurts or tries to hurt a partner by hitting, kicking, or using another type of physical force.
- Sexual violence is forcing or attempting to force a partner to take part in a sex act, sexual touching, or a non-physical sexual event (e.g., sexting) when the partner does not or cannot consent.
- Psychological aggression is the use of verbal and non-verbal communication with the intent to harm another person mentally or emotionally and/or exert control over another person.
- Stalking is a pattern of repeated, unwanted attention and contact by a partner that causes fear or concern for one’s own safety or the safety of someone close to the victim.
Dating violence can take place in person or electronically, such as repeated texting or posting sexual pictures of a partner online without consent. Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime. Teens often think some behaviors, like teasing and name-calling, are a “normal” part of a relationship—but these behaviors can become abusive and develop into serious forms of violence. However, many teens do not report unhealthy behaviors because they are afraid to tell family and friends.