What is Teen Dating Violence?

Teen dating violence is a pattern of physically,  sexually, verbally and/ or emotionally abusive behavior in a dating relationship.

Physical Abuse

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


  • Scratching
  • Shoving
  • Pinching
  • Pulling Hair
  • Kicking
  • Biting
  • Burning
  • Strangling
  • Using a weapon

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 from sexually transmitted diseases

Verbal / Emotional Abuse

Saying or doing something to another person that causes that person to be afraid, have lower self esteem, or manipulates or controls the person’s feelings or behavior.


  • Name-calling or put-downs
  • Insulting the person or his or her family or friends
  • Yelling or screaming
  • Threatening violence or harm
  • Making racial slurs about the person
  • Making unwanted comments of a sexual nature to the person
  • Embarrassing the person in front of others
  • Spreading negative rumors about the person
  • Preventing the person from seeing or talking to friends or family
  • Telling the person what to do
  • Making the person feel responsible for the violence / abuse
  • Stalking
  • Harming or threatening to harm the person’s pets
  • Making the person feel guilty about leaving the relationship by talking about the abusers hard life and how hurt and abandoned he’d feel
  • Threatening to commit suicide
  • Threatening to expose personal information about the person (sexual orientation, immigration status)
  • Threatening to take the persons child or children

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these things, there is help available. Please call an advocate at the Illinois Valley Safe House Alliance or your nearest Women’s Center. 541-592-2515