HealthLeader

An Online Wellness Magazine produced by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)

Love Shouldn’t Hurt

Teen dating violence can lead to unhealthy relationships that last a lifetime

Love Shouldn’t Hurt

Many teens — and even middle schoolers — are discovering the dark side of dating. 

Teens may think teasing and name-calling are “normal,” but what may start out as flattering attention can set the stage for a form of violence. And physical or emotional bruises can lead downward to the open arms of depression and risky behavior. 

Teen dating violence, including physical, emotional, sexual and the newest — digital abuse — can leave lasting damage. Unhealthy relationships can start early, and while bruises may fade, emotional scars can remain. 

What is dating violence? It is a form of violence between two people who are in a close, maybe romantic, relationship. But there is nothing romantic about controlling, abusive and aggressive behavior.    

Dating violence is a public health problem with serious short-term and long-term effects, and it can happen to any teen, anywhere. 

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