During the preteen and teen years, young people are learning skills they need to form positive relationships with others. Helping them find healthy ways to engage and interact with peers is vital to their health and safety. This is especially true for intimate, dating relationships.
Dating violence is an important public health issue. Many young people report physical and emotional abuse by someone they are dating. This type of teen violence can contribute to alcohol or drug use, poor school performance, eating disorders, and even suicide.
Some of the risk factors that might lead to unhealthy and violent relationships include an inability to manage emotions and conflict, friends experiencing dating violence, alcohol use, and lack of parental supervision, monitoring, and warmth.
Similar to other forms of youth violence, teen dating violence is preventable. Programs that teach young people healthy relationship skills can prevent violence. And, preventing teen dating violence may help us prevent adult IPV.
For more on teen dating violence, visit CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention website.