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Preventing Teen Dating Violence
Created by Ali Treviño-Murphy
1 in 11 teen girls and 1 in 15 teen boys report experiencing physical dating violence, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. As with adults, this violence can include a pattern of emotional, physical or sexual abuse.

Emotional abuse attacks the victim’s self-esteem through put downs, humiliation, controlling their behavior, or keeping them away from friends and family.

Physical abuse might look like slapping, pushing, grabbing, throwing, hitting, shaking or choking.

Sexual abuse could include unwanted touching, peeping, nude photos or forced sex acts.Both victims and perpetrators of teen dating violence can experience serious consequences such as depression, decreased interest in school or other activities, drug and/or alcohol abuse and risky sexual behaviors. Teens who are involved in unhealthy relationships as they are growing up are much more likely to experience a pattern of unhealthy relationships as adults, making this a serious community issue.

Warning signs that a teen may be a victim of teen dating violence may include:

• Spending less time with friends or family
• Making excuses for a dating partner’s behavior
• Trouble succeeding in school or work
• Dramatic change in weight or appearance

Warning signs that a teen may be a perpetrator of teen dating violence may include:

• Threatening to hurt others in any way
• Insulting a dating partner in public or in private
• Thinking that violence is a solution to problems
• Breaking things or a dating partner’s belongings

Teens are unlikely to talk to parents or other adults about this issue, so it is important for adults to start the conversation. Parents, teachers and others who work with youth can help prevent teen dating violence. Here are some resources:


If you want to equip your child with the skills to navigate life on their own with confidence, including setting healthy boundaries and keeping herself safe, please reach out to request a free strategy session today.

Ali Treviño-Murphy


Ali Treviño-Murphy has over 15 years of experience helping women to tap into their personal power to both prevent violence and live their best life. If you want to learn more about how to have the freedom to go anywhere without fear, request a free strategy session today.
Ali Trevino-Murphy Director and Co-founder SAFE Women's Self-defense
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