Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month

Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month

Stop dating violence BEFORE it starts.

By: Christen Bourgeois Date: February 9th, 2024

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM).

The 2024 TDVAM theme is “Love Like That.” Selected by the Love is Respect Youth Council “Love Like That” illuminates what “that” means regarding healthy, unhealthy, and abusive relationships. We know that love is more than a feeling; no matter how you define it, it’s essential to ensure you’re on the same page with your partner about the definitions and boundaries of your relationship. Teens and young adults express their love for one another in many ways, which differ from person to person or community. All expressions of love are valid. However, the essential aspect of “Love Like That” calls on us all to create a world of positive actions to express and show healthy love in various ways. Checkout the 2024 Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month Action Guide.

What is Teen Dating Violence?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teen dating violence (TDV) — also called, “dating violence” — is an adverse childhood experience that affects millions of young people in the U.S.

  • 1 in 3 U.S. teens will experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse from someone they’re in a relationship with before they become adults.
  • Nearly half (43%) of U.S. college women report experiencing violent or abusive dating behaviors.

Teen dating violence can take place in person, online, or through technology. It is a type of intimate partner violence (IPV) that includes four forms of violence that can occur within the dating relationships of adolescents and young adults:

  • Physical violence: the intentional use of physical force, which includes hitting, pushing, shoving, grabbing, restraining, or using strength against someone
  • Sexual violence: forcing someone to take part in a sexual act (e.g., kissing, touching, sexual intercourse) or a non-physical sexual event (e.g., sexting) when the person does not or cannot consent
  • Psychological aggression: the use of verbal and non-verbal communication with the intent to cause mental or emotional harm, or exert control over someone
  • Stalking: a pattern of repeated, unwanted attention and contact that causes fear or concern for one’s own safety or the safety of someone else (e.g., family member, close friend)

When any form of dating violence is perpetrated using technology, such as messaging and social media, it is referred to as cyber dating violence or digital dating abuse. Examples include sending sexual pictures of a dating partner to others without consent, sending or posting insulting or threatening messages, and sharing negative rumors about the person.

How can we stop teen dating violence it before it starts? 

“Join together with a clear message to survivors: You are not alone.  Support is close by, and justice is within reach.” —President Joseph R. Biden Jr. 

Read the White House Proclamation on National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, 2024

Supporting the development of healthy, respectful, and nonviolent relationships has the potential to reduce the occurrence of teen dating violence and prevent its harmful and long-lasting effects on individuals, their families, and the communities where they live. During the pre-teen and teen years, it is critical for youth to begin learning the skills needed to create and maintain healthy relationships. These skills include knowing how to manage feelings and how to communicate in a healthy way.

CDC developed Dating Matters®: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships to stop teen dating violence before it starts. It focuses on 11-14-year-olds and includes multiple prevention components for individuals, peers, families, schools, and neighborhoods. All of the components work together to reinforce healthy relationship messages and reduce behaviors that increase the risk of dating violence.


All relationships exist on a spectrum from healthy to abusive, with unhealthy somewhere in the middle. Learn more >>


1. Long-term effects: Teens suffering from dating abuse often end up being victims of long-term problems like alcoholism, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts, violent bouts, and so on.

2. Widely affected: In the U.S., about 33% of male and female adolescents are victims of sexual, physical, or emotional dating abuse.

3. S.T.D. scares: Teen girls subject to abuse are six times more likely to become pregnant or contract an S.T.D. or S.T.I.

4. Suicidal scares: A shocking 50% of young adults who experience physical or sexual abuse (including rape) attempt to commit suicide.

5. Can’t confide: Only a third of teens in an abusive relationship could confide in someone about the abuse, and hesitate to seek help since they don’t want to expose themselves.

Source: National Today (nationaltoday.com)



Instagram LIVE: Love Like This, Love Like That
Thursday, February 29
Hosted via Instagram by @loveisrespect
2:00pm (PT)
Join #loveisrespect for an Instagram LIVE event with the incredible Love is Respect Youth Council! We’ll be diving into the topic of Independence in Relationships to close out TDVAM 2024. Don’t miss this empowering conversation >>

Following Their Lead: A Teen Dating Violence Action Month Panel

Thursday, February 22
Hosted via Zoom
2:00pm – 3:30pm (PT)
Join us for a FREE webinar highlighting the important work that young people are doing across the state to end dating violence, uplift marginalized voices, and shift culture. Teen dating violence prevention starts with youth power! Young people, especially people of color, queer and trans folks, and folks from economically struggling communities know how to lead the way forward and know what their communities need. Youth-led violence prevention forges a path toward liberation for all of us and one of the best things we can do is to follow their lead. Register today >>



Use these resources to help you define and maintain a healthy, loving relationship:

Find support through these organizations and their resources:

  • Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services (ADWAS): provides services to deaf, deafblind, and deaf-disabled survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault adwas.org.
  • Brown Boi Project: a community of people working across race and gender to eradicate sexism, homophobia, and transphobia and create a healthy framework of masculinity and change brownboiproject.org.
  • HEART: ensures that Muslims have the resources, language, and choice to nurture sexual health and confront sexual violence hearttogrow.org.
  • Love is Respect: love is respect is a safe, inclusive space where teens and young adults can access information and get support in an environment designed specifically for them. A project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, love is respect offers 24/7 information, support, and advocacy to young people between the ages of 13 and 26 who have questions or concerns about their romantic relationships. Loveisrespect.org
  • LGBT National Help Center: serving the LGBTQ+ community by providing free and confidential peer support and local resources. Call 1-800-246-7743 or chat lgbthotline.org.
  • National Runaway Safeline: 24/7 free support for homeless and at-risk youth. Call 1-800-RUNAWAY or visit their website  1800runaway.org/youth-teens.
  • Scarleteen: inclusive, comprehensive, supportive reproductive and relationships info for teens scarleteen.com.
  • StrongHearts: 24/7 free, confidential, and culturally relevant support for Native American and Alaska Native teens and young adults experiencing dating abuse and sexual violence. Call 844-7NATIVE (762-8483) or chat live strongheartshelpline.org.
  • The Trevor Project: provides 24/7 confidential crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ teens and young adults under 25. Call 1-866-488-7386, text START to 678678, or chat live thetrevorproject.org.
  • Your Life Your Voice: supporting parents, families, and children in times in need. Start an interactive mood journal to track your thoughts, feelings, or moods using the My Life My Voice app. 24/7 hotline, text, or email available at yourlifeyourvoice.org