Being a teen in 2024 is not easy with dating apps, social pressure and especially in February when Valentine’s Day is near.  

Utah teens are no exception and though many associate the month with love, it's also National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.  

It's easy to associate abusive relationships with adults but they aren’t the only ones who suffer from dating violence. The Domestic Violence Awareness Project says that 1.5 million U.S. high school students experience physical violence while dating.  

In Utah that number translates to one in five teens hurt by someone they were dating, Prevent Child Abuse Utah said. Only 33% of teens who experienced dating violence talked to a trusted adult about the issue.  

Teen Dating Violence Can have several causes.  

  • poor communication skills 
  • difficulty coping with negative emotions 
  • an inability to distinguish between caring and controlling behaviors 
  • an inability to establish and maintain boundaries 
  • gender stereotypes which lead to unfair and unrealistic expectations within a relationship 

These can also apply to adults who are dating.  

In an effort to address the issue in Utah, the Utah Department of Health and Human Services and Utah Workforce Services implemented a Teen Violence Prevention Program in Weber, Carbon, and Emery County.  

Unfortunately, Washington County and other counties are not on the list but, you can schedule classes through PCA Utah’s website and perhaps bring it to other regions.  

If you know someone or are experiencing teen dating violence, please contact the National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline. There are advocates who can help and you can even send an instant message to get a peer advocate. 


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