What is Teen Dating Violence?

Dating violence occurs in a dating relationship when a person uses physical, emotional or sexual abuse to gain power and to keep control over another person or people. Sexual violence is any type of unwanted sexual contact and sexual contact without consent.


The signs

  • Your child's partner is extremely jealous or possessive.
  • Bruises or bruises on your child that have no explanation.
  • Your child's partner sends your child too many emails or texts.
  • Notice that your child is depressed or anxious.
  • Your child stops participating in extracurricular activities or other things that interest him/her.
  • Your child stops spending time with family and friends.
  • Your child's partner is abusive to other people or animals.
  • Your child changes the way they dress.
  • Your child makes excuses all the time to try to explain what is happening or what is happening within the relationship.


Immigrant youth may experience different barriers in their lives that exacerbate the stress of living with dating violence.

  • Undocumented youth experience many fears. Calling the police, telling a school counselor or parents might open up an investigation that could ultimately lead to the deportation of the boyfriend/girlfriend.
  • Fear of parents being deported if the police are involved.
  • When someone is in the midst of a crisis, it is common to go back to one’s first language or switch between languages. Youth who do so cannot utilize resources or confide in counselors or teachers who speak only English. Language accessibility is important for youth, too.


How does dating violence affect Latinx youth?

The effects of dating violence on youth are profound. Youth who are experiencing dating violence typically display some or all of the following behaviors and characteristics:

  • Psychosomatic issues, e.g., stomachaches, ulcers, headaches
  • Subtle reactions: loss of appetite, overeating, sleep difficulties, nail biting or stuttering
  • Low self-esteem and feelings of failure
  •  Anger: aggression, hostility or destructiveness
  • Disruptive behavior or violence toward peers
  • Wearing high-necked or long-sleeved clothing in warm weather
  • Juvenile delinquency, e.g., truancy, vandalism, drinking or drug abuse

Contact Us:
24/7 National DV Hotline
Office:  608-256-9195


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