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Dating Violence

What is Dating Violence?

Dating violence is the use of physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal force by one dating partner towards the other. Abuse can cause injury and even death, but it doesn’t have to be physical. It can take many different forms, including threats, constant text messaging or instant messaging, insults, isolation from family and friends, sexual abuse, name-calling, emotional abuse, and controlling a partner’s behavior and appearance.

Did You Know?

  • 1 in 3 Teens Experiences Dating Violence
  • Adolescent Girls in Abusive Relationships Are Approximately 5 Times More Likely to Become Pregnant Than Girls in Non-abusive Relationships
  • Most Victims Murdered by Their Significant Other Over the Last Ten Years in Georgia Began Their Relationship With Their Abuser While Between the Ages of 13 and 24

To have a PADV staff member provide a dating violence presentation for you or your students, please contact us at

Teen Dating Violence - Teens

What would you do if you thought your friend was in an abusive relationship?

Most of the time, violence in a relationship occurs when the couple is alone. You might not see dramatic warning signs like black eyes and broken bones. So how can you tell for sure?

  • Your Friend’s Partner Uses Put-downs and Name-calling to Make Your Friend Feel Bad

  • if Your Friend Is Talking to Someone of the Opposite Sex, Her/his Partner Gets Extremely Jealous, Even When It’s Completely Innocent

  • Your Friend Apologizes for Her/his Partner’s Behavior and Makes Up Excuses About Their Behavior or Attitude

  • Your Friend Frequently Cancels Plans at the Last Minute for Reasons That Sound Untrue

  • Your Friend’s Partner Is Always Checking Up on Her/him. Your Friend Constantly Gets Phone Calls, Text Messages, IMS, and E-mails From Her/his Partner Demanding to Know Where They Are and Who They’ve Been With

  • You’ve Seen Your Friend’s Partner Lose Their Temper, Maybe Even Break or Hit Things When They’re Mad

  • Your Friend Is Always Worried About Upsetting or Angering Their Partner

  • Your Friend Starts Becoming More Isolated and Stops Participating in Activities That They Used to Enjoy Regularly

  • Your Friend’s Weight, Appearance, or Grades Have Changed Dramatically. These Could Be Signs of Depression, Which Could Indicate Abuse

  • Your Friend Has Injuries That Can’t Be Explained, or the Explanations Don’t Make Sense

What You Can Do to Help

Talking with a friend in an abusive relationship can make a big difference to them – whether they are being abused or being abusive. Sometimes, it can be difficult to know what to say or how to say it, especially if you’ve never dealt with this issue before, so here are some tips...

When Talking to Your Friend:

  • Listen to What They Have to Say
  • Talk to Them in Private and Keep What They Say Confidential
  • Let Your Friend Know Why You Are Concerned. Be Specific. Refer to Incidents You Have Personally Witnessed Instead of What You Have Heard From Others
  • Offer to Get Your Friend's Information
  • Mention Other People Your Friend Might Talk to – a Counselor, a Teacher, or Another Adult That They Trust
  • Let Them Know That You Are Available to Talk if They Need to
  • Give Them Information to Talk to a Teen Dating Abuse Hotline or Refer Them to a Helpful Website
  • Help Your Friend Establish a Dating Bill of Rights

When Talking to Your Friend, Do Not:

  • Be Judgmental
  • Make Them Feel Stupid or Ashamed
  • Ask Lots of Yes or No Questions. Instead, Give Your Friend a Chance to Talk Freely
  • Force Your Friend to Make a Decision or Give Ultimatums. They Have to Decide When They Are Ready to Get Help or End Their Relationship. You Can’t Do It for Them
  • Abandon Your Friend. As a Friend, You Can Help Them Get Out of This Situation
  • Feel Like You Have to Know All of the Answers. You Can Rely on Others, Like Teen Dating Violence Programs, to Answer the “tough” Questions

Teen Dating Violence - Parents

What Are the Signs?

Sometimes these signs are a part of being a teenager, but when these changes happen suddenly or without any explanation, there might be cause for concern.

  • Sudden Changes in Clothes or Make-up
  • Bruises, Scratches, or Other Injuries
  • Failing Grades, Skipping Class, or Dropping Out of School Activities
  • Avoiding Friends
  • Difficulty Making Decisions or Always Relying on the Decisions of Others
  • Sudden Changes in Mood or Personality; Becoming Anxious or Depressed, Acting Out, or Being Secretive
  • Changes in Eating or Sleeping Habits, Avoiding Eye Contact
  • Constantly Thinking or Worrying About Their Dating Partner
  • Using Alcohol or Drugs
  • Emotional Outbursts and “crying Fits"

Teen Dating Violence
Micro lessons

We are excited to announce our new resource to the greater Atlanta Community. Our new Micro lessons Toolkit is designed to give adults a discussion guide for having a conversation about dating violence topics with a young person.

This guide is designed to give you and your teen a “road map” to having conversations on the different aspects of healthy relationships. There are activities, resources, and tools included with every release. We will be releasing these lessons every month, and we hope that parents, teachers or any adults that serve teens use this powerful tool in helping end teen dating violence.

Download Micro-lesson