Effects on Young People

Unhealthy relationships can begin early and last a lifetime. Young people can be affected by domestic and family violence at home or with partners.

Young people living in a violent home are aware of the abuse, even if it is hidden. As children grow up, they may be more likely to try to intervene in a violent incident and suffer injury as a result. Young people who have experienced violence in the home may show effects such as anxiety, social withdrawal, low self-esteem and substance abuse. Young people show a great diversity in their responses – some will ‘act out’ at school, while others will not change or will excel at school which is a safer and more predictable place than home.

It is important for young people to develop healthy relationship habits. Teens often think that some behaviours, such as teasing and name calling, are a ‘normal’ part of a relationship but these behaviours can become abusing and develop into more serious forms of violence. The risk of developing an unhealthy relationship increases for teens who:

  • Believe that dating violence is acceptable;
  • Are depressed, anxious or have other symptoms of trauma;
  • Display aggression towards peers or display other aggressive behaviours;
  • Use drugs or illegal substances;
  • Engage in early sexual activity and have multiple sexual partners;
  • Have a friend involved in dating violence;
  • Have conflicts with a partner;
  • Witness or experience violence in the home.

Dating violence can be prevented when young people, families, organisations and communities work together to implement effective prevention and support strategies.

Below are some useful links for young people: