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Get the Facts

 

Dating, domestic and sexual violence are serious, widespread problems throughout the U.S. and the world. In fact, nearly one in four women in the U.S. reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life.i  Teens and young women are especially vulnerable to relationship abuse and violence. Add to that the 15.5 million U.S. children who live in families in which partner violence occurred at least once in the past yearii and you have a huge number of young people in this country whose lives are affected — sometimes shaped — by violence.

Prevalence of Teen Dating Violence

  • Approximately one in three adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner — a figure that far exceeds victimization rates for other types of violence affecting youth.iii
  • One in three teens reports knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, kicked, slapped or physically hurt by a partner.iv
  • One in five tweens — age 11 to 14 — say their friends are victims of dating violence and nearly half who are in relationships know friends who are verbally abused. Two in five of the youngest tweens, ages 11 and 12, report that their friends are victims of verbal abuse in relationships.v

 Consequences of Teen Dating Violence

  • Teen victims of physical dating violence are more likely than their non-abused peers to smoke, use drugs, engage in unhealthy diet behaviors (taking diet pills or laxatives and vomiting to lose weight), engage in risky sexual behaviors and attempt or consider suicide.vi
  • The one in five female public high school students in a Massachusetts study who reported ever experiencing physical or sexual violence from a dating partner were four to six times more likely than their non-abused peers to have been pregnant, and eight to nine times more likely to have attempted suicide in the past year.vii
  • Compared with non-abused girls, those who experienced both physical and sexual dating violence are three times more likely to have been tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV, and more than twice as likely to report an STD diagnosis.viii

Please visit Getting Ready to Teach to learn more about relationship abuse.

Sources

[i] Adverse Health Conditions and Health Risk Behaviors Associated with Intimate Partner Violence, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. February 2008. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5705a1.htm.

[ii] McDonald, R, Jouriles, E, Ramisetty-Mikler, S. et al.  2006. Estimating the Number of American Children Living in Partner-Violent Families. Journal of Family Psychology 20(1): 137-142. 

[iii] Davis, Antoinette, MPH. 2008. Interpersonal and Physical Dating Violence among Teens. The National Council on Crime and Delinquency Focus. Available at http://www.nccd-crc.org/nccd/pubs/Dating%20Violence%20Among%20Teens.pdf.

[iv] Liz Claiborne Inc. 2005. Omnibuzz® Topline Findings-Teen Relationship Abuse Research. Teenage Research Unlimited. Available at http://www.loveisnotabuse.com/surveyresults.htm.

[v] Tween and Teen Dating Violence and Abuse Study, Teenage Research Unlimited for Liz Claiborne Inc. and the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline. February 2008. Available at www.loveisnotabuse.com/pdf/Tween%20Dating%20Abuse%20Full%20Report.pdf.

[vi] Silverman, J, Raj A, et al. 2001. Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidality. JAMA. 286:572-579. Available at http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/286/5/572

[vii] Silverman, J, Raj A, et al. 2001. Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidality. JAMA. 286:572-579. Available at http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/286/5/572.

[viii] Decker M, Silverman J, Raj A. 2005. Dating Violence and Sexually Transmitted Disease/HIV Testing and Diagnosis Among Adolescent Females. Pediatrics. 116: 272-276.

 

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"One in three teens reports knowing a friend of peer who has been hit, punched, kicked, slapped or physically hurt by a partner."

–Teenage Research Unlimited