If you suspect your teen is in an abusive relationship:


24-hour crisis line (English): 919-403-6562

24-hour crisis line (Spanish): 919-519-3735 


DCRC staff can assist with:​

  • Case Management​

  • Legal Advocacy​

  • Hospital Response​

  • Therapeutic counseling for survivors of abuse

Please call our administrative office at 919-403-9425 for further information.​

What is Dating Violence?


  • Pattern of destructive behaviors used to gain and maintain power and control over a dating partner


  • Can take place in any type of dating relationship


  • Can take place regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation of partners


  • 1 in 3 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 in the United States will experience dating violence

  • Adolescents who experience dating violence at higher risk for drug and alcohol abuse

Prevention Education (Safe Dates Program)

  • The goal of the program is to educate middle and high school aged youth about the link between dating violence, sexual assault, alcohol consumption, and substance abuse.

  • Teens will learn:

    • Signs of harmful dating behaviors

    • Effective communication and anger management strategies

    • How to help a friend in an abusive dating relationship

    • What consent really means and how to prevent sexual assault

    • The impact of alcohol and other drugs on dating relationships

  • To learn more about the Safe Dates curriculum or to schedule training for teens at your school, church, or organization:

Healthy Traits

(Adapted from the Equality Wheel for Teens by the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence)


  • Non-Threatening Behavior: Speaking and acting so that a dating partner feels safe and comfortable expressing herself/himself and doing activities.


  • Active Listening: Listening to a dating partner without judgment. Being emotionally affirming and understanding. Valuing her/his opinions.


  • Trust and Support: Supporting partner’s goals. Respecting his/her feelings, friends, activities, and opinions.


  • Honesty and Accountability: Accepting responsibility for self. Acknowledging past use of violence. Admitting guilt. Communicating openly and truthfully.


  • Self-Confidence and Personal Growth: Respecting a partner’s personal identity and encouraging individual growth and freedom. Supporting his/her security in his/her own self-worth.


  • Shared Power: Making decisions together. Taking mutual responsibility for recognizing influence on the relationship. Problem-solving to mutual benefit. Learning to compromise without one overshadowing the other.


  • Communication: Willingness to have open and spontaneous dialogue. Speaking with kindness. Listening without interruption. Paying attention to non-verbal and verbal cues.


  • Negotiation and Fairness: Seeking mutually satisfying resolutions to conflict. Accepting changes. Being willing to compromise.

Unhealthy Traits

(Adapted from the Teen Power and Control Wheel by the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence)


  • Anger/Emotional Abuse: Putting them down. Making them feel bad about themselves. Name calling. Playing mind games. Humiliating her/him in private or public. Using guilt trips to make them feel bad about decisions.


  • Using Social Status: Treating them like a servant. Making all the decisions in the relationship. Acting like the queen or king of the castle. Being the one to define relationship roles.


  • Intimidation: Making someone afraid by using looks, actions, or gestures. Smashing things. Destroying property. Abusing pets. Displaying weapons.


  • Minimize/Deny/Blame: Making light of the abuse and not taking concerns about it seriously. Saying the abuse didn’t happen. Shifting responsibility for the abuse of the victim.


  • Threats: Making and/or carrying out threats to harm the victim, the victim’s family, the victim’s friends, or oneself. Threatening to report the victim to the police. Making them drop charges. Forcing her/him to engage in illegal activities.


  • Sexual Coercion: Manipulating and making threats to get sex. Sabotaging birth control. Getting someone drunk or high to get sex.


  • Isolation and Exclusion: Controlling what they do, who they see and talk to, what they wears, and where they goes. Limiting outside involvement. Using jealousy to justify actions.


  • Peer Pressure: Threatening to spread rumors, expose their secrets, weaknesses, or sexually explicit photos. Telling malicious lies about them to peers.

Tips to Prevent Dating Abuse


  • Model healthy relationships in the home


  • Talk to your teen about healthy relationships and healthy ways to handle conflict


  • Engage in activities to build your teen’s self-esteem


  • Keep lines of communication open with your teen

  • Let your teen know that it's okay to seek help if they have concerns about their relationship

Red Flags that Your Child May Be a Victim

(Adapted from jwi.org)

  • Withdrawal from activities and/or friends he or she once enjoyed

  • Engagement in new, risky behaviors like sex, drugs, and/or alcohol

  • Changes in school grades and/or attendance

  • Depression, anxiety, or other mood changes

  • Fear of upsetting dating partner by expressing feelings, not answering calls or texts,

  • Bruises, scratches, scars, or other marks on skin that may be hidden by unseasonable attire



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206 N. Dillard Street, Durham, NC 27701 Office Phone: (919) 403-9425
Office Hours: 9AM - 5PM

© Durham Crisis Response Center 2019