Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month (February 2020)

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (TDVAM). This month is dedicated to increasing awareness about dating abuse within teenage relationships and the resources that are available for teen victims and survivors.

Teen dating violence is more common than many people think. Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year. 1 in 3 adolescents in the US is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner.

Teen dating violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors done by an abusive partner. Abusive behaviors can include violent words and/or actions. The abusive partner feels entitled to gain and maintain power and control over their partner, the victim.

Cell phones and the internet have become common tools used in teen dating violence. At a rapidly increasing rate, many teens in dating relationships have reported being controlled, threatened, and humiliated through cell phones and the internet.

Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of teen dating violence and intimate partner violence. However, any young person can experience dating abuse regardless of gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic standing, ethnicity, religion, or culture. Abusers do not discriminate. Abusers feel entitled and want to have power and control over their intimate partner. Therefore, abuse can happen to anyone – in any relationship, whether the relationship is one that is considered casual or serious.

Victims of teen dating violence need us to listen and support them.

Only 33% of teens who were in a violent relationship ever felt safe and supported to disclose their abusive relationship to anyone.

It is important for supportive adults and communities to understand the dynamics of teen dating violence and the impacts the violence can have on teens and young people. We can provide, or better provide, victims of teen dating violence with the support and resources they need in moments they need it most. Additionally, then, we can support their healthy relationships and future as well as role model our own healthy relationships and futures. Decreasing violence for a teen increases their health and potential.

In 2018, the national organization Loveisrespect documented 118 contacts from Kansas through their text, call, and online chat lines. The most common reason for these contacts was intimate partner violence and teen dating violence. Via this contact, the victims and survivors were provided with 203 referrals and direct connections to resources and advocacy services.

Advocacy Services and Resources

To get help and access services, call the Kansas Crisis Hotline at 1-888-363-2287.

Find a map and listings of Kansas sexual and domestic violence victim advocacy programs at: https://www.kcsdv.org/find-help/in-kansas/dv-sa-services-map.

Learn more about domestic violence, intimate partner violence, and teen dating violence at https://www.kcsdv.org/learn-more/domestic-violence/ and https://www.loveisrespect.org/.

KCSDV Winter 2019 Newsletter (PDF)

This project was supported by Grant No. 2019-MU-AX-0021 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.


Last Updated on Mar 2, 2020