5 Possible Signs of Violence in Teenage Couples

Very little is said about violence in teenage couples, but it's crucial to know how to detect and prevent it. Here are some tips.
5 Possible Signs of Violence in Teenage Couples
Elena Sanz

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz.

Last update: 25 May, 2023

When we talk about problems in couples and violence, adults always come to mind. However, it’s important to give a voice to teen dating violence and address the issue in greater depth.

Why is this so important? Well, because parents can detect if there’s violence in teenage couples to curb this type of situation as early as possible.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at the statistics, the types of aggression in teenage couples, the signs that shouldn’t be overlooked, and some tips to prevent this type of situation. Violence continues to be a frequent issue in relationships. It’s time to do everything we can to change that.

What do the statistics say about teen dating violence?

The data on teen dating violence is shocking. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 11 high school students have experienced some form of intimate partner violence in the past year. They also report that 1 in 8 women have experienced sexual violence while dating.

However, the Instituto de la Juventud (INJUVE) provides data estimating that between 3% and 24% of women were forced into their first sexual experience. After this update, it’s increasingly evident that it’s time to put an end to all this.

However, even though these data are more focused on women than men, don’t all teenagers suffer violence from their partners? They certainly do. Males, according to the CDC, have experienced violence at a somewhat lower rate (1.4%).

Types of teen dating violence

There are several different types of teen dating violence. The first is physical, although it doesn’t have to involve a beating to be considered physical. Slapping, pushing, shoving, or any form of unwanted physical aggression is considered violence.

The second is psychological violence, which is the most difficult to detect. This type is very subtle, undermining the other’s confidence and self-esteem to facilitate manipulation. It’s a very heartbreaking type of violence.

Then we come to a type of violence that we’ve already discussed in the statistics: sexual violence. Touching in ways that the other person does not want, forcing them to have sex, and publishing intimate images without their consent are all considered forms of sexual violence.

Finally, one of the last types is stalking. This includes spying on the partner, controlling him/her, and pursuing him/her. This often causes great fear in the other person, who feels intimidated and may feel the need to limit their activities.

We think you may be interested in reading this, too: 6 Forms of Verbal Abuse from Your Partner that Should not be Tolerated

Violencia sexual en pareja adolescente.
Teen dating violence can be physical, verbal, psychological, sexual, and even stalking.

Signs of teen dating violence

Now that we know a little more about teen dating violence, how can parents detect it? It’s true that teens are in a complicated stage of life in which mood swings and withdrawing into themselves can make it difficult to communicate about this issue. Therefore, it’s very important for parents to be vigilant and keep their eyes open.

1. They isolate themselves from their friends

Adolescence is a time when friends are very important. If a young person starts not hanging out with their friends and only with their partner, this is a red flag. Unless she or he is very shy or in a new high school, it isn’t normal for him or her to have no time for friends.

2. They have marks on their body

Another warning sign of teenage violence is marks on their body. If young people start covering certain parts of their bodies when it is hot or there are some days when they wear too much make-up, you can suspect that something is going on.

3. Their temper is explosive

It’s normal for parents to ask what is going on when they notice some of the warning signs above or when they ask the young person to talk to them about their relationship. If the reaction is explosive and overly excessive, suspect something is going on.

4. Their social networks are being controlled

In order to be able to exercise violence, teenage partners often have the passwords to their social networks and maybe even their cell phones. This is not normal, and parents should be forewarned and try to talk to their children about it. It’s something parents should really watch out for.

5. They’re being  bullied or humiliated

Humiliation, bad words, bullying, or trying to belittle the other person in any way is also a huge sign to watch out for. All of these are signs of violence in teenage couples. When their teens are at home, parents need to pay attention.

Signos de violencia en las parejas adolescentes.
Violence can be disguised and not so obvious. That’s why parents need to be vigilant.

Like this article? You may also like to read: How to Help a Woman who Has Been Abused

How to prevent violence in teenage couples

It’s normal for parents to feel helpless in this situation. Therefore, to solve the problem, it’s essential to try to talk to the child and get them into the hands of professionals specializing in teen dating violence.

To prevent any sort of violence, it’s important that there is communication at home on this issue and on the behaviors that should not be allowed in a relationship. In addition, there are special numbers to call in many countries, so make sure to research them and have them on hand.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Dalouh, R., & Ayala, E. S. (2020). La educación en valores como prevención de la violencia en parejas adolescentes en entornos transculturales. PUBLICACIONES50(1), 61-81.
  • López Gonzalez, E. (2020). Violencia de género en adolescentes.
  • Perea, L. G., & Viejo, C. (2020). Mitos del Amor Romántico y Calidad en las Relaciones Sentimentales Adolescentes. Revista Iberoamericana de Psicología13(1), 151-161.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.