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Protection from Violence or Abuse

What is Teen Dating Violence?

Teen dating violence is a pattern of actual or threatened acts of physical, sexual, or psychological abuse, perpetrated by an adolescent against a current or former dating partner. Abuse may include insults, coercion, social sabotage, sexual harassment, stalking, threats, or acts of physical or sexual abuse. The abusive teen uses this pattern of violent and coercive behavior to gain power and maintain control over the dating partner.

Types of Abuse

  • PHYSICAL: beating, shaking, choking, slapping, hitting, shoving, kicking, pushing, biting, burning, assault, etc.
  • SEXUAL: when a partner uses physical force, threats, or manipulation to coerce any sexual act or contact without the other partner’s consent, including rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment
  • EMOTIONAL: behavior that undermines the other partner’s sense of self-worth, such as name-calling
  • economic: when a partner makes or attempts to make the other partner financially dependent on them, diminishing the victim’s capacity to support themselves
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL: isolating a partner from friends and family and causing fear by intimidation and threats, resulting in trauma such as anxiety.

Dating violence can also include using social media and technology—including the Internet, social networking sites, phones, or text messaging—to harass, pressure, stalk, or victimize.

Legal Remedies

An “Order of Protection” is a civil order that is available to victims of domestic violence, including dating violence. It requires the abuser to stay away from you and your home, workplace, and school, and to have no contact with the victim, either directly or indirectly through a third person.

Order of Protection

A judge can issue an order of protection against a dating partner if they have physically abused, threatened to physically abuse, or sexually abused the other partner. A “dating relationship” means a romantic or intimate social relationship between two individuals.

Arkansas law allows a minor to obtain an order of protection against an abusive dating partner. However, the law does not allow a minor to petition for the order of protection on his or her own behalf. Either an adult family or household member or a domestic violence advocate must petition on behalf of the minor.

Examples of Abuse

  • Pull your hair, or punch, slap, kick, bite, choke, or smother you
  • Forbid or prevent you from eating or sleeping
  • Harms your children or pets
  • Throws objects at you
  • Calling you names, insulting you, criticizing you
  • Acting jealous, possessive, or not trusting you
  • Monitoring your activities 
  • Forces or manipulates you into having sex or performing sexual acts
  • Force you to dress in a way you are uncomfortable with 
  • Hold you down during sex without consent 
  • Using weapons during sex
  • Giving you drugs or alcohol to get your consent 


The National Dating Abuse Helpline


The National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) or text “START” to 88788

The National Sexual Assault Hotline


The Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence Teen Dating Abuse Hotline