Youth Violence Prevention Education

What is Dating Violence?

While in high school many youth begin establishing intimate relationships.  It can be a wonderful experience to be attracted to another and to “fall in love”.  When we begin dating we want healthy relationships where we can be ourselves with another and feel safe.  Because healthy relationships are difficult to develop for youth as well as adults it is very common that abuse and violence can happen in relationships between youth.

Dating violence is defined as a systematic pattern of domination where one partner uses abusive tactics to maintain power and control over the other partner and where these tactics escalate over time and where the victim alters her behaviour in an attempt to stop the abuse.  (Battered Women’s Support Services 1993)

One in seven girls in high school have experienced physical and/or sexual abuse in their relationships.

“If my boyfriend every hit me…I would leave?”

Almost half of all girls who are in relationships have experienced emotional abuse in their intimate relationship.  (London Family Court Clinic 1993)

What is emotional abuse?

Emotional abuse can be described as anything that makes you feel bad about yourself or makes you feel like you are crazy.  It includes calling her names, putting her down, making her feel bad about herself, and/or making her feel guilty.

Battered Women’s Support Services provides workshops for youth about health relationships and dating violence for more information call 604-687-1868 or email

This program is made possible by funding from the United Way of the Lower Mainland