National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month 2023

By Ashley Barnes


Why National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month?

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, created to spread awareness about the prevalence of teen dating violence, to educate people about healthy relationships, and to provide support for teens who have survived dating violence. 

About teen dating violence.

Teen dating violence is considered to be an adverse childhood experience, a potentially traumatic experience that occurs in childhood and adolescence (0-17). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teen dating violence can occur in person, online, or through technology (2022).

Intimate partner violence can include the following types of harmful behavior: physical violence (when a person tries to hurt their partner through use of hitting, punching, use of physical force, etc.), sexual violence (forcing or attempting to force a partner to engage in an unwanted sexual act without consent, also including sharing explicit pictures of a partner without consent), psychological aggression (the use of verbal or nonverbal communication utilized to harm a partner), and stalking (repeated, unwanted attention or contact which makes a partner feel unsafe) (2022). 

Data from the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey in 2019 revealed that about U.S. high school students who reported having dated, around 1 in 12 experienced physical dating violence and 1 in 12 experienced sexual dating violence (2022). Further, female students experienced elevated rates of physical and sexual dating violence than male students; LGBTQ+ identifying students experienced higher rates of physical and dating violence when compared with heterosexual identifying students (2022). 

Unhealthy, violent, and abusive relationships can have profound mental health consequences including the development of depression, anxiety, substance use, suicidal ideation, and antisocial behaviors (theft, bullying, etc.) (2022). 

How to help.

There are many ways to support teens who have experienced dating violence. Protective factors include engaging with influential adults and peers as well as receiving education on healthy relationships. Social support through trustworthy, reliable adults and peers can help survivors of dating violence feel less isolated. Social support is both empowering and increases a sense of safety. 

Mental health professionals such as therapists and child and adolescent psychiatrists can help teens find a safe environment to discuss and process their experience. Mental health professionals can also help educate teens about forms of abuse so they can better recognize it, collaborate with them in developing safety plans, provide education about healthy relationships, and develop ways to heal from traumatic experiences. Trauma-informed mental health clinicians provide sensitive care that moves at a pace that teens feel safe and comfortable with; this rapport building is essential.

Mental Health Center

The Mental Health Center is committed to providing inclusive and quality care to patients of all ages. Our child and adolescent psychiatrists specialize in supporting teens as they move through the challenges of adolescence as well as co-occurring mental health disorders (depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, behavioral disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, etc.). Treatment may entail combined medication management and talk therapy.

For more information on how to become a patient, please contact us at (310)601-9999 or visit our website. We are looking forward to supporting you!

Online Resources:

  • Love is Respect – “the national resource to disrupt and prevent unhealthy relationships and intimate partner violence by empowering young people through inclusive and equitable education, support, and resources.”
  • National Resource Center on Domestic Violence – a special collection of educational resources emphasizing collaborative, multi-level approaches to the prevention and response to teen dating violence (TDV). 
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline – 800-799-7233




Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). Fast facts: Preventing teen dating violence |violence prevention|injury Center|CDC. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved June 13, 2022, from