Teen Dating Violence: Warning Signs

image from Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria

Abusive relationships tend to become more dangerous over time - the earlier that a potentially abusive relationship is identified, the better. Become familiar with these ten warning signs of teen dating violence to better keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Teen Dating Violence: Ten Warning Signs

  1. 1. History of legal or discipline problems.
  2. 2. Blames you for his / her anger.
  3. 3. Serious drug or alcohol use.
  4. 4. History of violent behavior.
  5. 5. Threatens others regularly.
  6. 6. Insults you or calls you names.
  7. 7. Trouble controlling feelings like anger.
  8. 8. Tells you what to wear, what to do, or how to act.
  9. 9. Threatens or intimidates you in order to get their way.
  10. 10. Prevents you from spending time with your friends or family.

Teen Dating Violence: Safety Plan

Could you be in an abusive relationship? Create a safety plan:

1: Talk

Talk to somebody you trust like a parent, teacher, or school counselor.

Or, if you prefer, call the National Dating Abuse Helpline at 1-866-331-9474
You can talk with them at any hour of the day or night.

2: Plan

Plan in advance to have a safe place to go.

If you wait until a situation has become dangerous it might be much more difficult to find and access a place where you will feel safe.

3: Phone

Keep money and your cell phone or calling card with you at all times.

You should also check out the free Circle of 6 app which lets you quickly and easily connect with friends and family (available for Android & iOS).

4: Memorize

Memorize important numbers in case your phone is taken.

It is common practice for an abuser to keep your phone from you if the situation is deteriorating so plan for that possibility. Mobile phones are great at memorizing phone numbers and because of that we're less likely to know those phone numbers ourselves. Make sure that you've memorized a couple of phone numbers in case you find yourself without a phone.

5: Codeword

Establish a code word or sign so family, friends, and co-workers know when to call for help.

Although you might not want to talk with your family or friends about this, it would be terrible to not have a prearranged code word if you should ever need it in the future.


If you're looking for a good way to discuss the topic of teen dating violence with your students or children check out these free award-winning video games about teen dating violence from Atlanta-based charity, Jennifer Ann's Group.

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