Preventing Youth Dating Violence

What Educators Need to Know

Roles of Friends and Peers


Even though your student may not be involved in dating violence, or even a romantic relationship at all, teens who experience dating violence seek help from their friends more than from adults, especially teachers, health professionals, and school administration.


If your student has friends or peer groups who experience and/or use dating violence, they may begin to think that such behaviour is normal. Talk with your class about why dating violence is not acceptable.


Let your students know about less obvious dating violence such as cyber dating violence or stalking behaviours. Learn more about cyber dating violence.


Encourage your students to provide support for friends who are victimized by dating violence. Peers can listen supportively, help their friend leave the situation, and help them find professional help. Ensure that they know how to keep themselves safe, and that they can come to you for help or advice.


Preventing violence is a school-wide initiative. When violence in a school community is reduced, youth are less likely to have friends who perpetrate violence.


Inform students that helping their friends who experience dating violence can be difficult. Students need to understand that they can’t force individuals to break-up with an abusive partner, and that reporting without their permission can make things worse. At the same time, students need to seek help immediately if the victimized individual is in danger.


Students can help their friends experiencing dating violence by being warm, non-judgmental, and suggesting that they seek help from adults. You can provide them the appropriate resources that they can pass along to their friends.