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What is the Impact of Teen Dating Violence?

Just as a healthy relationship can positively impact a teen's emotional development, an unhealthy relationship can negatively impact a teen's emotional development with both short-term and long-term consequences. Victims of dating violence and abuse have shown increased symptoms of depression and anxiety, antisocial behavior, an increased use of tobacco, drugs, and alcohol, and suicidal thoughts. Teens who are victims of dating violence in high school are also at a higher risk for re-victimization in college. 

Why does Teen Dating Violence Happen?

Teens learn about how to behave in relationships from peers, adults, social media, films, and television. It is unfortunately common that these examples normalize dating violence and unhealthy relationships. Violence is unacceptable in any circumstance and it is never the victim's fault. Some risk factors shown to increase the likelihood of being engaged in an unhealthy relationship include but are not limited to: drug use, friends in abusive relationship, witnessing or experiencing violence at home, teens with a history of mental illness or trauma, and the belief that dating violence is acceptable or normal. We can combat dating violence when all of us as individuals and our communities as a whole unite to form effective prevention strategies against dating violence.


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