Teen Dating Violence Warning Signs

October 27, 2020


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October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and ACCESS is here to share vital information to ensure the safety of our communities and help break the cycle.


According to the CDC, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men will experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime (CDC, 2017). Domestic violence can happen to anyone, no matter their gender, age, religion or sexual orientation. In fact, dating violence is becoming increasingly common among teenagers. Nearly 21 percent of female high school students and 14 percent of male high school students report being physically or sexually abused by their partner. That’s an estimated 1.5 million high school students in the United States who are physically abused by partners every year.


Violence looks different in every relationship and, therefore, it is important that we raise awareness of the different types of violence and help prevent it in our communities. If you or a love one is experiencing any of these signs please seek help in the resources below.


What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is not only physical, but includes emotional, psychological, economic and sexual abuse from an intimate partner, spouse or family member. It is important to recognize the red flags of an unhealthy relationship in order to protect yourself and loved ones. Forms of domestic violence include:

  • Physical: Hitting, shaking, breaking things, biting, pushing or using a weapon.
  • Emotional: Threatening to hurt you and oneself, isolating you from your friends and family, telling lies, insulting you, and ignoring your feelings.
  • Psychological: Partner uses words to demean you and decrease self-esteem and confidence.
  • Economic: The abuser limits the victim's financial freedom or security.
  • Sexual: Forcing sexual contact without protection, forcing partner to have sex.


Signs of Domestic Violence or Abuse in a Relationship:

Victims of domestic violence experience physical symptoms of abuse such as:

  • Extreme jealousy or insecurity,
  • Constant belittling or put-downs,
  • Explosive temper,
  • Isolation from family and friends,
  • Making false accusations, erratic mood swings, physically inflicting pain or hurt in any way,
  • Possessiveness, telling someone what to do or repeatedly pressuring someone to have sex,
  • Checking cell phones, emails or social networks without permission.


Is Teen Dating Violence Preventable?

Teen dating violence is preventable, and the goal of prevention is to stop dating violence before it even begins. During the preteen and teen years, young people are still learning about what it takes to foster positive, healthy relationships with other people. This is the time to promote and encourage healthy relationships and prevent a pattern of relationship violence that can last into adulthood.



Helpful Resources

ACCESS offers a wide range of behavioral health services and programs to help you or someone you know who may be a victim of dating violence. Our providers are clinically trained to connect you to the right specialists at the right time, so please contact us if you feel you or someone you know could benefit from behavioral health care. 

Make An Appointment


Chicago Area Domestic Violence Resources


Domestic Violence Hotline

The domestic violence hotline runs 24 hours 7 days a week and it’s a free, confidential number at 1-800-799-7233. For more information on how to help and support victims visit the domestic violence hotline website at https://www.thehotline.org/.


The Illinois Family Planning Program

The Illinois Family Planning Program at ACCESS Community Health Network offers confidential resources at low/ no cost. These resources are inclusive services for men and women that are 12 years of age or older. Our program offers confidential relationship counseling, sex education and partner referrals. Learn more at www.achn.net/teenhealth.


Find healthy relationship resources and support for teens and young adults at loveisrespect.org/ 








As of February 24, 2023