You are viewing a version of the Spruce Run website formatted for printing.

Skip to main content

Spruce Run-Womancare Alliance

Need to leave this site quickly? Click here for emergency exit

24 Hour Hotline 1-800-863-9909
1-800-437-1220 (TTY)
Contact Us

What’s Teen Dating Abuse?

Dating abuse…

…is a pattern of behaviors that someone uses to control a boyfriend or girlfriend – where she goes, what she does, who he sees, what he wears.

What does dating abuse look like?

It can be…

  • Physical – Hitting, kicking, restraining, grabbing or pushing.
  • Emotional and Mental – Constantly accusing you of cheating or keeping you from seeing your family or friends.
  • Verbal – Calling you names, putting you down, or making you feel bad about yourself.
  • Sexual – Forcing you to do something you don’t want to do or making sexual jokes about you.

Dating abuse is different in every situation…but if it’s hurtful and unwanted, it’s abuse and you don’t deserve it.

Who does it happen to?

It can happen to anyone… people of any age, race, or religion. It can happen when people are together and after they’ve broken up. It happens in heterosexual and same-sex relationships –  and it can be a guy or a girl who abuses a partner.

It can happen to anyone… but it’s about one person making choices to control and hurt their dating partner.

How many teens go through this?

One in three teenagers report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, kicked, slapped, choked, or physically hurt by a romantic partner. And 80% of teens regard verbal abuse as a “serious issue.”

That means you probably know someone who is being abused in their relationship. And, since 73% of teens surveyed said they’d turn to a friend for help, maybe that friend could be you.

So how can I get help for myself or a friend?

If you’re being abused – or think you might be – we can help. If you’re a friend, family member, parent, or teacher and you’re concerned about someone you know, we can help you too. We don’t have all the answers, but we may be able to suggest something you haven’t thought of, or thought possible….

Call our free hotline at 1.800.863.9909, and we’ll…

  • Listen to you and not judge.
  • Offer support for your feelings and information about your choices.
  • Explore your situation and answer any questions you may have.
  • Help you plan for safety in school and at home.
  • Talk with you about how to be helpful to someone you care about.
  • Keep your information confidential.

If you’re more comfortable talking to someone in person at our resource center or at your school, just contact us or call our hotline to schedule a time to meet. Your guidance counselor or a teacher can also help you get in touch with us.

We hope to hear from you!


Are you being abused? Take our quiz, check out our Power and Control Wheel, or take a look at the warning signs of an abusive relationship. If abusive things are happening in your relationship, please talk to someone you trust or call our hotline.  1.800.863.9909.

Here’s more information for you…