Similar to adult domestic violence, teen dating violence is a pattern of behavior that one partner uses to establish and maintain power and control over the other. This abusive behavior can be emotional, physical or sexual. Social networking is also a way abusers harass, track and intimidate their partners.
Abuse could include:
- isolating you from family and friends;
- physically or sexually touching you against your will or hurting you in any way;
- constantly putting you down;
- pressuring you to have sex, preventing you from using birth control, and/or refusing to use birth control themselves;
- acting jealous or using jealousy as an excuse for checking in on you frequently to see where you are going or who you are with;
- excessively texting or e-mailing you;
- acting very angry one minute and sweet the next;
- threatening to hurt or kill themselves if you break up with them;
- checking your cell phone or e-mail without permission;
- breaking into your social media accounts, and posting things using your identity; and
- telling you what to do and pressuring you to give up things that are important to you such as friendships and extracurricular activities at school.
Whether you want to stay together or are thinking about breaking up, there are options. Your abuser may act more abusive or angry when you try to break up, so make sure you have a safety plan before trying to end the relationship. You can go to Family Court to ask for an order of protection if you are (or have been) in an intimate relationship with an abuser. An intimate relationship is considered to include any dating relationship, even if it wasn’t a sexual relationship. See "The Police and Courts" section of this booklet for more information on this and all legal options.
For help and to create your own safety plan, visit bit.ly/LoveIsRespectSafetyPlanning.