January 6, 2014

What is Teen Dating Violence?

Teen dating violence means physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, or technological conduct by a person to harm, threaten, intimidate, or control a dating partner, regardless of whether that relationship is continuing or has concluded or the number of interactions between the individuals involved.  Abuse may include insults, coercion, social sabotage, sexual harassment, threats and/or acts of physical or sexual violence.  – California Partnership to End Domestic Violence 


Physical Abuse:
Any unwanted contact with the other person’s body. Physical abuse does not have to leave a mark or a bruise.

• Scratching
• Punching
• Biting
• Kicking
• Pinching

• Pulling hair
• Choking
• Strangling
• Spitting


Sexual Abuse: 
Any sexual behavior that is unwanted or interferes with the other person’s right to say “no” to sexual advances.

• Unwanted kissing or touching  • Date rape
• Forcing someone to go further sexually than he or she wants to
• Unwanted rough or violent sexual activity
• Not letting someone use birth control or protection against sexually transmitted infections
• Forcing someone to pose for still or video images while partially or fully nude or while
performing sexual acts
• Forcing someone to watch others engaging in sexual acts in real life or in still or video images
• Coercing someone to take nude or sexual images of him/herself and share them
• Forcing someone to expose him/herself sexually to others or in public
• Forcing someone to wear or not wear items of clothing (such as underwear)
• Videotaping or recording a sexual act or nude image of someone without their
knowledge or consent
• Sending someone unsolicited and unwelcomed sexual images
• Altering an image of a person to make it appear that they were posing in the nude or
engaging in sexual activities


Verbal/Emotional Abuse:

Saying or doing something to the other person that causes the person to be afraid  and/or have lower self-esteem. Trying to manipulate or control the person’s feelings or behaviors. This can include online posts or digital communications designed to threaten, harass, or embarrass someone. These can take place in real life or through the use of digital technologies, such as social networks, online games, email, text-messages, videos, photo-sharing and video-sharing sites, webcams, digital gaming devices, and instant messaging.

• Name-calling and put-downs
• Insulting the person or his/her family or friends
• Yelling and screaming
• Harming (or threatening to harm) the person or his/her family, friends, pets or property
• Making racial, ethnic or religious slurs about the person or those he/she cares for
• Making unwanted comments/sending unwanted messages of a sexual nature to the person
• Signing the person up for unwanted websites or services
• Sending the person pornographic videos, images or media
• Embarrassing the person in front of others
• Intimidating the person
• Spreading negative rumors about the person
• Preventing the person from seeing or talking to friends and family
• Telling the person what to do
• Making the person feel responsible for the violence/abuse
• Stalking
• Making the person feel guilty about wanting to leave the relationship by talking about
the abuser’s hard life and how alone and abandoned the abuser will feel if left
• Threatening to commit suicide
• Threatening to kill the target or a friend/family member of the target
• Threatening to expose personal information about the person (e.g., sexual orientation,
immigration status, embarrassing secrets)
• Threatening to take away the person’s child or children
• Sharing sexual or nude pictures of the person that were given in confidence
• Excessive or unwanted text-messaging, instant messaging, phone calls or emails to
check up on someone
• Creating an abusive group or profile about someone, such as the “Katy is a slut” group
or setting the person up for attacks by others online
• Posting nasty, false or abusive comments on the person’s profile or other accounts or
in their guestbook
• Accessing someone’s accounts and changing the passwords so he or she no longer has
access to them and/or posing as the person and altering his or her accounts and profiles