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Teen Dating Violence

Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, and Rape

Teens are one of the most at risk age categories for experiencing sexual violence.  Teenagers’ experiences of sexual violence may involve the use of alcohol and/or drugs by the victim, the perpetrator, or both.  If you have been raped or feel uncomfortable about a sexual experience that happened while you were drunk or high, call the sexual violence hotline at 800-489-7273—for more information, or just to talk.

Dating violence is controlling, abusive, and aggressive behavior in a relationship. It can happen in straight or gay relationships. It can include verbal, emotional, physical, sexual abuse or a combination.

Teens are often reluctant to seek help from adults and adult-designed services.  However, offering workshops or inviting advocates into schools, teen centers or other places teens gather to talk about prevention and services with teens will help them stay safe or get safe.  Many of the Vermont Network Programs provide outreach, education and support services designed to meet teens’ specialized needs. Contact your local Network program and find out what is offered in your area.

Teen Dating Violence can include:

  • A boyfriend needing to know where his girlfriend is all the time.
  • Constant texting or phone calls.
  • Pressure to send sexual images through a phone or computer or to “sext”.
  • Manipulating or pressuring a girlfriend/ boyfriend to do sexual activities they don’t really want to do or aren’t ready for.
  • Sabotaging birth control or refusing to use any.
  • Interfering with employment, like coming to a girlfriend/ boyfriend’s job all the time when s/he is working.
  • Slapping, pushing, hitting of any kind- even if it starts playfully.
  • Getting in the way of academic progress by not allowing one to do their homework or telling a partner that they can’t go to college because it will mess up their relationship.
  • Jealousy and not letting the other dating partner hang out with anyone else, especially someone of the opposite gender.

If you are a teen who has been hurt by your partner, there is help.  You can seek medical attention or contact your local Network program to anonymously talk to an advocate who can help you decide what to do.

Dating Violence Quick Facts

  • Approximately one in three adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.
  • One in five tweens – age 11 to 14 – say their friends are victims of dating violence and nearly half who are in relationships know friends who are verbally abused.


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