Youth Dating Violence Prevention 101

What Everyone Needs to Know

Signs of Youth Dating Violence

Signs of Being Victimized by Dating Violence

(from National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) and Break the Cycle)

The most reliable way to identify YDV is if victimized individuals or witnesses to abuse disclose the violence themselves. Unfortunately, this does not occur very often, and so it is also important to directly ask.

  • Change in physical appearance
    • Stops wearing makeup, or wears a lot more
    • Starts wearing baggier clothes
    • Passive or withdrawn state
    • Frequent bruising
    • Self-harming behaviours such as cutting, hair pulling
  • Teen’s dating relationship lacks balance
    • Teen is constantly checking in with texts and sending photos to prove to partner where they are
    • Teen makes excuses for partner’s behaviour
    • Extreme jealousy is shown between teen and partner
    • Teen is belittled by partner or called names
  • Teen’s behaviour with peers and in classroom changes
    • Loss of friendships and isolation
    • Teen is late or often misses class in school
    • Teen seems anxious that partner may show up or know where they are
    • Teen is unable to concentrate, is passive, compliant, or withdrawn
    • Teen starts doing poorly in class
    • Teen is involved in new disciplinary problems at school such as bullying or acting out

Recognizing if an Individual is Perpetrating Dating Violence

(from Vivolo-Kantor, Massetti, Niolon, Foshee, and McNaughton-Reyes, 2010)

  • Controlling how a partner spends time, what they can or cannot do, etc.
  • Restricting contact of partner with social network (family, friends)
  • Engaging in criticizing and demeaning behaviour
  • Controlling how a partner behaves or how they dress
  • Engaging in unwanted touching and/or pressure into sexual activity; ignoring physical boundaries, inflicting pain
  • Extremely jealous and/or insecure about partner/relationship
  • Displaying an explosive temper and/or mood swings in relationship
  • Threatening the partner