Domestic Violence
Coordinating Council (DVCC)

Teen Dating Violence

Teen Dating Violence Resources - DVCC Logo

State of Delaware – Domestic Violence Coordinating Council

Resources – Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention


Few of us are used to asking teenagers about their dating practices. Yet there is growing evidence that teens are abused by their boyfriends and girlfriends at rates comparable to those of long term adult relationships. Statistics show that one in three teenagers has experienced violence in a dating relationship.

In dating violence, one partner tries to maintain power and control over the other through abuse. Dating violence crosses all racial, economic and social lines and can be physical, sexual, economic or psychological. Early intervention is thought to be essential to helping young people develop healthy, respectful relationships with their partners.


Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Posters
An awareness poster created by a Delaware teen.  Call 302-255-0405 to request posters.

Teen Sexting Fact Sheet
A fact sheet for teens, parents and educators

Teen Power & Control WheelTeen Power and Control Wheel
The Power and Control Wheel is a tool that helps explain the different ways an abusive partner can use power and control to manipulate a relationship.




What are the consequences of Teen Dating Violence?

As teens develop emotionally, they are heavily influenced by their relationship experiences. Healthy relationship behaviors can have a positive effect on a teen’s emotional development. Unhealthy, abusive or violent relationships can cause both short term and long term negative effects or consequences. Victims of teen dating violence are more likely to do poorly in school and report binge drinking, suicide attempts and physical fighting. Victims may also carry the patterns of violence into future relationships.

Special issues for Teen Victims

  • Teens are likely to see possessiveness and jealousy as signs of affection.
  • Victims may be confused by conflicting feelings of love, anger and fear.
  • Teens are reluctant to turn to adults for help.


Dynamics of Teen Dating Violence

Teens are often even more reluctant than adult victims to get help for domestic violence. There is an increased fear among teen victims that they are partly to blame and that adults will judge them. In addition to the standard domestic violence warning signs, teen warning signs may include the following:

Additional warning signs that a teen may be being abused

  • Their boyfriend/girlfriend calls them names or puts them down in front of others.
  • Their boyfriend/girlfriend acts extremely jealous when they talk to friends of the opposite sex, even when it is completely innocent.
  • The teen often cancels plans at the last minute, for reasons that sound untrue.
  • The teen frequently apologizes for their boyfriend/girlfriend.
  • The teen’s boyfriend/girlfriend is constantly checking up on them, calling or texting, and demanding to know where they have been.
  • The teen is worried about upsetting their boyfriend/girlfriend.
  • The teen has recently given up things that used to be important to them, such as spending time with friends or other activities, and is becoming more and more isolated.
  • The teen’s weight, appearance or grades have changed dramatically.
  • The teen has injuries they can’t explain, or the explanations they give don’t add up.

The best way to gather information about the above warning signs is to ask questions. Explain to the teen that you are asking questions. Remain non-judgmental and supportive. Advise the teen that it is not their fault and they do not deserve to be treated that way.

Break the Cycle

Futures Without Violence

Phone: 415-678-5500
TTY: 1-866-678-8901

From domestic violence and child abuse, to bullying and sexual assault, our groundbreaking programs, policy development, and public action campaigns are designed to prevent and end violence against women and children around the world.

Healthy Relationship Website – Love is Respect

Text loveis to 22522*

Highly-trained advocates offer support, information and advocacy to young people who have questions or concerns about their dating relationships. We also provide information and support to concerned friends and family members, teachers, counselors, service providers and members of law enforcement. Free and confidential phone, live chat and texting services are available 24/7/365

National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

TTY: 1-800-787-3224

Provides lifesaving tools and immediate support to enable victims to find safety and live lives free of abuse. Callers can expect highly trained, experienced victim service advocates offer compassionate support, crisis intervention information and referral services in more than 200 languages.


Rape Crisis Hotlines

Sexual Assault Resources

New Castle County

YWCA Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC) 1-800-773-8570

Provides complete, free and confidential rape crisis victim service to sexual assault survivors aged 12 and older and their non-offending family members, friends and partners throughout the State of Delaware.

University of Delaware Sexual Offense Support (S.O.S.)  302-831-1001 press 1

24/7 victim service and crisis support for the UD community (give a first name & phone number and an SOS victim advocate will call you back within 10 minutes)

Kent & Sussex Counties

ContactLifeline Rape Crisis 302-761-9100

Assists survivors of a sexual assault, regardless of whether it just happened or happened many years ago with telephone counseling; information and referral; in-person support and assistance at hospitals police stations, and courts; plus, individual counseling for survivors, friends and family.

Delaware State University Rape Crisis  302-420-5751
24/7 victim service and crisis support

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