We are pleased to announce the topic for the 2015-2016 Can’t Beat Love San Antonio Youth Film Contest: Teen Dating Violence.

Filmmakers will be asked to explore some of the causes of teen dating violence as well as the results of this emotional and/or physical abuse.  Films will examine how teen dating violence leads to destructive attitudes and actions from a variety of perspectives: the perpetrator, the victim, and the observer. Filmmakers should also present ways students can successfully confront teen dating violence to enable better decisions and outcomes.

Teen Dating Violence Definition:

Any behavior in a romantic relationship that is intended to establish an unequal balance of power and control.

Research and Statistics

Facts and Statistics:

  • Roughly 1.5 million high school boys and girls in the U.S. admit to being intentionally hit or physically harmed in the last year by someone they are romantically involved with.
  • Teens who suffer dating abuse are subject to long-term consequences like alcoholism, eating disorders, promiscuity, thoughts of suicide, and violent behavior.
  • One in three young people will be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship. The tricky question: what does an unhealthy relationship even looks like? We’ve created a guide to help you spot the signs. See 1 in 3 of Us.
  • One-third of adolescents in America are victim to sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional dating abuse.
  • In the U.S., 25% of high school girls have been abused physically or sexually. Teen girls who are abused this way are 6 times more likely to become pregnant or contract a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
  • Females between the ages of 16 and 24 are roughly 3 times more likely than the rest of the population to be abused by an intimate partner.
  • Eight states in the U.S. do not consider a violent dating relationship domestic abuse. Therefore, adolescents, teens, and 20-somethings are unable to apply for a restraining order for protection from the abuser.
  • Violent behavior often begins between 6th and 12th grade. 72% of 13 and 14-year-olds are “dating.”
  • Fifty percent of young people who experience rape or physical or sexual abuse will attempt to commit suicide.
  • Only one-third of the teens who were involved in an abusive relationship confided in someone about the violence.
  • Teens who have been abused hesitate to seek help because they do not want to expose themselves or are unaware of the laws surrounding domestic violence.

Unhealthy relationship behaviors often start early and lead to a lifetime of abuse. That’s according to Choose Respect, a national initiative to help adolescents and young teens age 11-14 form healthy relationships to prevent dating abuse. Every student, parent and teacher needs to be aware of the prevalence of teen dating violence in the US.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that one in eleven adolescents is a victim of physical dating violence.

(Source: https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-teen-dating-violence)


The following facts are from Choose Respect’s “Get the Facts: Dating Abuse Statistics” and “About Choose Respect: Dating Abuse Fact Sheet”:

  • Each year approximately one in four adolescents reports verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
  • Approximately one in five adolescents reports being a victim of emotional abuse.
  • Approximately one in five high school girls has been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.
  • Dating violence among their peers is reported by 54% of high school students.
  • One in three teens report knowing a friend or peer who has been physically hurt by his or her partner through violent actions which included hitting, punching, kicking, slapping, and/or choking.
  • Eighty percent of teens believe verbal abuse is a serious issue for their age group.
  • Nearly 80% of girls who have been victims of physical abuse in their dating relationships continue to date the abuser.
  • Nearly 20% of teen girls who have been in a relationship said that their boyfriend had threatened violence or self-harm in the event of a break-up.Nearly 70% of young women who have been raped knew their rapist; the perpetrator was or had been a boyfriend, friend, or casual acquaintance.
  • The majority of teen dating abuse occurs in the home of one of the partners.

(Source: http://womensissues.about.com/od/datingandsex/a/TeenDatingAbuse.htm)