Help Prevent Reproductive Coercion by Screening Youth for Dating Violence

A young couple holding hands.

You probably know that abusive dating partners use power and control to manipulate a relationship. But did you know that some of those abusive tactics, including forced sex and birth control sabotage, can cause teen girls to get pregnant against their wishes?

You can help prevent reproductive and sexual coercion by talking to teens about dating violence and showing them the hallmarks of healthy relationships. To direct those conversations where they’re needed most, we’ve gathered three screening tools to help you identify young people in, or at-risk of, abusive relationships.

  • Red Flags Universal Teen Dating Violence Screen. There are tell-tale signs that a relationship is becoming abusive, such as when a partner shares private things about their relationship on social media or behaves aggressively during an argument. To raise awareness about these signs, the New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department created a two-page screening tool (PDF, 92 KB) that helps adults identify signs of teen dating violence and provide resources for staying safe.
  • Student Health Services Dating Abuse Screening and Response Protocol. To help student health providers look for signs of dating abuse, the Expect Respect program established a dating abuse screening and response protocol (PDF, 43 KB) that can be adapted for other types of youth-serving agencies. The protocol includes six initial screening questions, a longer, youth-friendly survey, and a list of actions to take if concerned about a young person’s safety.
  • Hanging Out or Hooking Up Teen Safety Card. Futures Without Violence offers a bilingual teen safety card that challenges youth to consider how they’re treated by a current partner. The pocket-sized brochure is designed to be gender-neutral and includes suggestions for readers who are concerned about a friend who may be the victim of abuse.

More on Teen Dating Violence and Teen Pregnancy Prevention

Q&A: Lisa James from Futures Without Violence on Teen Pregnancy and Relationship Violence

Toolkit to Incorporate Adolescent Relationship Abuse Prevention Into Existing Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Programming

Promoting Healthy Relationships Among Youth: Reducing Teen Pregnancy by Recognizing and Responding to Dating Violence and Reproductive Coercion

Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth, the Family and Youth Services Bureau, or the Administration for Children and Families.

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