It is not rare when we hear a student share with us about the unhealthy relationships in their life. Whether it’s a first time boyfriend or girlfriend, a sibling, a parent, a classmate or a best friend … Our kids are learning boundaries, how to express their needs, how to pick and choose who they want to surround themselves with and how to assert their voice when something isn’t right. So it’s no wonder to us that the statistics of Teen Dating Violence are so high.
“Adolescents and adults are often unaware that teens experience dating violence. In a nationwide survey, 9.4 percent of high school students report being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the 12 months prior to the survey. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey). About 1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 7 men who ever experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, first experienced some form of partner violence between 11 and 17 years of age (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey).”
Why Focus on Young People?
- Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average.
- Violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18.
- The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.
- About 72% of eighth and ninth graders are “dating”.
What are the consequences of dating violence?
As teens develop emotionally, they are heavily influenced by their relationship experiences. Healthy relationship behaviors can have a positive effect on a teen’s emotional development.
Unhealthy, abusive or violent relationships can cause short term and long -term negative effects, or consequences to the developing teen.:
- Put the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence.
- Being physically or sexually abused makes teen girls six times more likely to become pregnant and twice as likely to get a STI.
- Half of youth who have been victims of both dating violence and rape attempt suicide, compared to 12.5% of non-abused girls and 5.4% of non-abused boys.
Is your boy/girlfriend likely to abuse you?
- Showing symptoms of trauma
- Using alcohol
- Having friends involved in dating violence
- Having problem behaviors in other areas
- Believing dating violence is okay
- Being exposed to harsh parenting or inconsistent discipline
- Not having parental supervision, monitoring, or warm relationships with parents
For more information:
Hotline Phone Numbers
Domestic Violence Hotline: 800.621.HOPE (4673)
Crime Victims Hotline: 866.689.HELP (4357)
Rape & Sexual Assault Hotline: 212.227.3000
FEBRUARY IS NATIONAL TEEN DATING VIOLENCE AWARENESS AND PREVENTION MONTH. CLICK HERE FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA’S PROCLAMATION