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Valentine’s Day Provides Opportunity for Parents to Talk to Teens about Dating Violence

Posted on February 8, 2012

Image by Kimberly Darragh Hynd, used with Creative Commons license.

Valentine’s Day provides an excellent opportunity for parents to talk to their kids about teen dating violence. Teen dating violence will affect one in three adolescent girls, and about ten percent of all youth report physical violence by a partner. Forty-five percent of girls know a peer who has been pressured into having intercourse or oral sex. Warning signs of abuse include a partner’s jealousness or possesiveness, excessive emailing or texting, depression or anxiety, dressing differently, stopping participation in extracurricular activities, and spending less time with other friends and family. Teen victims of dating violence are more likely to be depressed, use drugs and alcohol, and have eating disorders. Even parents who do not think their child might be experiencing dating violence can talk to their children about healthy relationships. Promoting positive peer relationships and getting to know teens’ boyfriends or girlfriends can also help parents prevent teen dating violence.

In 2010, the Schubert Center hosted Dr. David Wolfe of the University of Toronto who spoke on girls in abusive dating relationships. Download a policy brief or slideshow from his talk. Several Schubert Center Faculty Associates also study violence in youth. Daniel Flannery studies violence prevention interventions. Patrick Kanary researches youth violence prevention and childhood exposure to violence. Mark Singer studies youth violence and drug and mental disorders.

Read more about talking to teens about dating violence. For more information about teen dating violence, visit That’s Not Cool, Love Is Respect, Love Is Not Abuse or the Centers for Disease Control’s website on Intimate Partner Violence.

Page last modified: January 24, 2017