Wakefield Alliance Against Violence

Teen Dating Violence

Teenagers and young adults all too often do not know the signs of an unhealthy relationship or normalize behaviors that do actually qualify as abuse or as unhealthy. There is social pressure to fit in, and many relationships often play out in public. Others often know intimate details about their classmates’ relationships either from day to day gossip, social media, text messaging or email chains. As a friend or family member of someone who may be in an unhealthy relationship, knowing unhealthy behaviors is the first step in helping others. The warning signs to look out for are unique for the teenage population:

  • Getting very serious very quickly (going from 0-100 in a short amount of time, ‘I love you’ within the first few weeks of a dating relationship.)
  • Constant and obsessive jealousy (always questioning the other persons whereabouts and motives)
  • Personal insults, name calling, put downs, degradation, lack of respect
  • Unrealistic expectations about what someone should do and how much time someone should put into a relationship
  • Constant communication via text or other forms of social media
  • Isolation from friends or family
  • Controlling what someone wears, how someone dresses
  • One individual has most of the power and control in the relationship
  • Drastic changes in the tone of relationships (constant talking and then refusals to speak)
  • Force or coercion to do things that one person does not feel
  • comfortable with (often times this is comes in the form of sexual pressure.)
  • Tracking or stalking via GPS or other technological means
  • Violence towards others or other things (hitting walls, getting into physical altercations outside of the relationship)
  • Threats of abuse (verbal or physical)
  • Fear of partner
  • Physical abuse
  • Grabbing and physically blocking someone’s movements

Are any of the warning signs in the list above familiar? You, a friend or a loved one may be in an abusive relationship. Don’t be afraid to seek help. RESPOND can be a resource. Whether you are interested in support for yourself or for a friend, call the RESPOND support line and speak with a Certified Domestic Violence Counselor (Monday-Friday, 8 am to 8 pm) at 617-623-5900.

Reference : Teen Dating Violence Parent Guide

Please see Respond Inc’s Teen Dating Violence Parent Guide

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WAAV meets virtually the third Wednesday of each month at at 8:30am.


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To join our mailing list, please email us at [email protected]