Just For Teens

St. Clair County Child Abuse and Neglect Council provides a variety of age and developmentally appropriate programs and resources to students throughout the community in an effort to educate about what sexual violence is and how to handle it. 

Our Just for Teens More About Personal Boundaries program provides information and resources to teenagers and their parents in an effort to help them prevent, identify and handle dating violence, foster healthy relationships, and understand the law. 

Teen Dating Violence & Abuse

It is during their teenage years – when they are no longer children, but not yet adults – that many young people begin to form their first romantic relationships. Yet without an understanding of healthy and unhealthy behaviors in dating relationships, teens are especially susceptible to becoming targets of dating violence and abuse. 

Teen dating violence (TVD) also referred to as “dating violence”, affects millions of teens across the U.S. each year. It occurs between two people in a close relationship and includes:

  • Physical violence such as hitting, kicking, pushing, etc.
  • Sexual violence such as forcing a partner to take part in a sex act, etc.
  • Psychological abuse such as name-calling, insulting, threatening, etc.
  • Stalking such as repeated unwanted or threatening phone calls or messages, showing up unwanted, etc.

TDV can happen in person or electronically including repeated texting or posting sexual pictures of a partner online without their permission.

Facts About Teen Dating Violence

Teens often think some behaviors like teasing and name-calling are a “normal” part of a relationship, but these behaviors can become abusive and develop into serious forms of violence.

  • Nearly 1 in 11 female and about 1 in 15 male high school students report having experienced physical dating violence in the last year.
  • About 1 in 9 female and 1 in 36 male high school students report having experienced sexual dating violence in the last year.

Unhealthy or violent relationships can have severe short and long-term effects on a developing teen. For example, youth who are victims of TDV are more likely to:

  • Experience symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Engage in unhealthy behaviors, like using tobacco, drugs, and alcohol.
  • Thoughts about suicide.

Teen Dating Violence Is Preventable

Everyone must get involved in preventing teen dating violence and abuse through actively seeking a better understanding of the resources available to those who are involved in such abuse in order to help and support them. 

Supporting the development of healthy, respectful, and non-violent relationships can help reduce the occurrence of TDV and prevent its harmful effects. During the pre-teen and teen years, it is important for youth to begin learning the skills needed to create and maintain healthy relationships. These skills include things like how to manage feelings and how to communicate in a healthy way. 

Additional Resources

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