Youth Dating Violence Prevention 101

What Everyone Needs to Know

Who is at Risk of Youth Dating Violence?

Systemic oppression is the intentional disadvantaging of groups of people based on their identity. This unfair treatment puts marginalized groups at a higher risk of being victimized by dating violence. These groups include racialized youth, youth living in poverty, Indigenous youth, and 2SLGBTQIA+ youth.

Who is at Risk of Being Victimized by Dating Violence?

  • Teens who grow up with a family history of aggression or abuse (child abuse, interparental violence)
  • Teens who have been bullied/are being bullied
  • Teens with few friends or friends who are aggressive or who use dating violence
  • Teens with a physical or learning disability or who have special healthcare needs. These individuals may especially struggle to leave the relationships.
  • New Canadians, refugees and English Language Learners
  • Teens who use drugs
  • 2SLGBTQIA+ youth
    • At higher risk if they have not disclosed/do not wish to disclose their gender identity or sexual orientation
  • Teens dating much older partners

Who is at Risk of Perpetrating Dating Violence?

  • Teens who grow up with a family history of aggression (child abuse, interparental violence)
  • Teens who are naturally aggressive
  • Teens who have bullied others
  • Teens who use drugs, especially alcohol
  • Teens with friends who are aggressive, especially if the friends perpetrate violence in their own relationships
  • Teens with an aggressive partner

What You Need to Know

  • Not all youth who perpetrate violence do so for the same reasons
    • There is a significant portion of dating relationships where both partners use and experience dating violence
  • Some youth who are involved in dating violence are social and popular
  • Some youth are especially vulnerable to dating violence, and may have difficulty seeking help
  • Both youth perpetrating and experiencing dating violence need support and healthy relationship solutions