It can happen whether you are young or old, and in heterosexual or same-sex relationships.

Dating violence is always wrong, and you can get help.

Learn more about leaving an abusive dating relationship.

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Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime.

Teens often think some behaviors, like teasing and name calling, are a "normal" part of a relationship.

However, these behaviors can become abusive and develop into more serious forms of violence.

Teen dating violence [PDF 187KB] is defined as the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence within a dating relationship, including stalking. Teen dating violence (physical and sexual) among US high school students: Findings from the 2013 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey. As teens develop emotionally, they are heavily influenced by experiences in their relationships.

Dating violence can cause serious harm to your body and your emotions. Return to top In the United States, teens and young women experience the highest rates of relationship violence.

In fact, 1 in 10 female high-schoolers say they have been physically abused by a dating partner in the past year.

But they can lead to more serious kinds of abuse, like hitting, stalking, or preventing you from using birth control.

Learn more about the warning signs of abuse and the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships.

Dating violence includes: Dating violence often starts with emotional abuse.