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What to Do If You're Experiencing Teen Dating Violence

Updated: Apr 19

Advice from our Mental Health & Counseling department.

Written by Jessenia Pagan CCC's Behavioral Health Program Manager

Being in a relationship shouldn't mean feeling scared, controlled, or disrespected. If you're experiencing dating violence, know this: you're not alone, and there is help available.

Here are some things you can do:

Recognize the Signs:

Ten Red flags to look out for

  1. Excessive jealousy or possessiveness: Your partner constantly checks your phone, accuses you of flirting, or isolates you from friends.

  2. Controlling behavior: They dictate your clothes, who you see, or even what you post online.

  3. Put-downs and insults: They constantly criticize your appearance, intelligence, or even your friends and family.

  4. Threats and intimidation: They threaten to hurt themselves or others if you break up or disagree with them.

  5. Unwanted physical contact: Hitting, pushing, grabbing, or any other physical touch you don't consent to is abuse.

  6. Pressure to send nudes or engage in sexual activity: You have the right to say no, and no means NO!

  7. Monitoring your online activity: They track your location, demand your passwords, or stalk you on social media.

  8. Guilt-tripping and manipulation: They use emotional tactics to make you feel responsible for their behavior.

  9. Sudden changes in behavior: You become withdrawn, anxious, or show signs of depression due to the relationship.

  10. Feeling afraid of your partner: Your gut tells you something's wrong, and you're afraid of how they might react.

Reach out for Help

  • Talk to a trusted adult: Tell a parent, teacher, counselor, or another trusted adult what's happening.

  • Call a hotline:

    • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

    • Love is Respect: 1-866-331-9474

    • The National Teen Dating Violence Hotline: 1-800-788-3224

  • Text "START" to 741741: Connect with a Crisis Counselor 24/7.

  • Visit a website:

Develop a Safety Plan

  • Identify safe places to go if you feel unsafe at home or with your partner.

  • Memorize important phone numbers (hotlines, trusted adults).

  • Keep a charged phone with you at all times.

  • Pack a bag with essentials in case you need to leave quickly.

  • Know your school's safety procedures and escape routes.


  • It's not your fault. You deserve to be treated with respect, no matter what.

  • You're not alone. Many teens experience dating violence, and there's help available.

  • You have the right to safety. Don't be afraid to reach out for help.

For more information

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