Age of consent is an issue that cannot be ignored in the discussion of teenage dating violence.Teenage sex is regulated in such a way that "age of consent laws render teenagers below a certain age incapable of consent to sexual activity with adults, and sometimes with peers".

This effort began with a series of workshops in 20 that culminated in the development and coordination of a federal interagency workgroup. NIJ has also funded research examining the nature, characteristics and extent of dating violence; risk and protective factors; long-term and short-term outcomes; and systematic evaluations of teen dating violence prevention and intervention programs, policies and legislation.

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month, but dating violence can happen across all age groups.

Identifying these early signs of abuse may provide a chance for a person at risk to exit a relationship safely before further harm occurs. “The answer to the question, ‘What does dating violence look like?

’ isn’t so straightforward—and that’s what can make it difficult to spot.” The warning signs for dating violence can be similar to warning signs for sexual assault and abuse.

Sexual behavior and aggression can be so deeply intertwined that the legality of underage consensual sex is sure to have an effect on teen dating violence.

Significant research has been done on the causes behind violent behavior in adolescent dating relationships with the intention of guiding the creation of dating violence prevention programs, and in turn has provided findings on the roles of nature and nurture in the development of such behavior with a strong favor towards nurture factors.That is, young people who are labeled as or considered to be violent and aggressive at any point in time are then assumed to be dangerous for the rest of their lives.This is a contentious issue because there is a desire to protect both parties involved (or that have the potential to become involved) in teen dating violence.Intimate partner violence (IPV) in adolescents is an important realm of study as, in addition to the usual negative effects of abuse, this violence occurs at a critical period in the social and mental development of a person.This is also an important topic from a gender studies perspective as almost 32% of male adolescents engage in some form of violence, whether sexual, physical or emotional, towards their partners while adolescent violence from females is nearly half of that rate.In some cases, the adult may be just a few months older than the minor.