January 21, 2022

San Diego Domestic Violence Council Shares Myths and Facts Around Teen Dating Violence


Each February, young people and their loved ones join together across the country in an effort to raise awareness about the issue of teen dating violence as a part of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. This annual awareness campaign seeks to promote safe, healthy relationships and to stop dating abuse before it starts.

Dating violence can take place in person or electronically and is a type of intimate partner violence that can include physical violence, sexual violence, psychological aggression, and stalking. Teens often think some behaviors, like teasing and name-calling, are a “normal” part of a relationship, but these behaviors can become abusive and develop into serious forms of violence.

Dating violence is more common than people think. 

According to a 2021 Preventing Teen Dating Violence Report:

  • 1 in 11 female teens and 1 in 14 male high school students reported experiencing physical violence in the last year
  • 1 in 8 female and 1 in 26 male high school students reported experiencing sexual violence in the last year

The 2022 Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month theme is Talk About It. Talk About It is a call to action for young people and those who support them to engage in meaningful conversations about healthy relationships and navigate what may be unhealthy or even abusive.

Teen Dating Violence sees its shares of myths that may cause victims to downplay the abuse or excuse the behavior of their abuser.


Myth #1: Victims provoke the abuser by making their partner jealous, are mean to them, tease them thinking they want sex.

Fact: Dating violence is NEVER a victim’s fault.  A victim does not have the ability to precipitate violence and the victim has no control over the abuse.


Myth #2: For teens who experience abuse in a relationship, the abuse will eventually stop as the teen gets older. The abuse is just a phase.

Fact: Abusive relationships shows a pattern of controlled behaviors which can span a lifetime and multiple victims.  Abusers’ behaviors will only change when they take full responsibility for their behavior and realize they do not have the right to control and abuse.


Myth #3: My partner cares about me, that is why she/he/they wants me to only see her/him/them and wants to know where I am and where I go.

Fact: Jealousy can be why an abuser isolates the victim. Not all jealousy is abusive, it is what the person does with this feeling which makes it abusive. If the abuser who is jealous is telling you where to go and who to talk to, it is unhealthy and controlling.


Help is available.

This information is critical for educators, parents, family members, and any adult who interacts with teenagers. If you or someone you know is experiencing Domestic Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, or Teen Dating Violence help is available. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-SAFE(7233) or (800) 640-2933 for San Diego Services.

For additional Support please visit Healthy relationships for young adults | love is respect or text LOVEIS to 22522; 10 Signs of Healthy/Unhealthy Relationships or In addition, you can download TDV Awareness and Prevention Month February.pdf - Google Drive


Established in 1989, the San Diego Domestic Violence Council is a network of public, non-profit and private agencies working together to develop an enhanced system-wide structure and response to domestic violence; serving as the “hub” for creative development and planning to address this critical issue in San Diego County.  The Council is made up of a county-wide team of over 300 member organizations including domestic violence service programs, criminal justice agencies, social service agencies, healthcare, primary and higher education, and others, as well as community members.

The San Diego Domestic Violence Council seeks to increase public awareness, build capacity through professional training, and bring professionals and community members together in coalitions and committees to develop cross-collaborative initiatives, policies, and protocols to better equip staff, agencies and community members to appropriately and effectively identify and respond to the needs of individuals and families affected by domestic violence.