What is Teen Dating Violence?

Teen Dating Violence, also referred to as intimate partner violence, can be defined as physical, sexual, and/or emotional/psychological violence within a dating relationship. This abuse can occur between current or previous dating partners and can occur digitally as well as in-person.

Physical Violence is any unwanted contact including but not limited to: punching, scratching, slapping, strangling, biting, pushing, or grabbing of your body or clothing. Physical abuse may not cause pain or leave physical evidence such as a bruise or scar, but still has unhealthy psychological ramifications.

Sexual Violence is any coercive action that pressures you to do a sexual act against your will. Sexual violence includes but is not limited to: unwanted sexual contact or touching, unwanted rough sexual activity, refusing to use condoms or restricting someone's access to birth control, being forced to watch a sexual act, and sexual contact with someone heavily under the influence of drugs or alcohol and otherwise unable to give consent. 

Emotional/Psychological Violence includes threats made by your partner or verbal attacking that harms your self-esteem and hurts your feelings. Shaming, bullying, name-calling, and isolating you from family and friends are examples of emotional violence.

Stalking includes actions that make you feel unsafe, uncomfortable, and afraid. Stalking occurs when a person repeatedly follows you, waits for you, watches you, harasses you, shows up uninvited to your home/school/job, calls you our your boss or teacher, damages your property, and/or tracks you on social media using their own or others' accounts. legal definitions of stalking vary by state. 

What are the consequences and why does it happen?