Thursday, February 3, 2011

Get the Facts on Teen Dating Violence

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Do you know the facts?
  • 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.  
  • 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.  
  • 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.
  • Only 33% of teens who were in an abusive relationship ever told anyone about it.
  • Nationwide, nearly one in ten high-school students (8.9 percent) has been hit, slapped or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • One in four teen girls in a relationship (26 percent) says she has been threatened with violence or experienced verbal abuse, and 13 percent say they were physically hurt or hit.
  • One in four teens in a relationship say they have been called names, harassed or put down by their partner through cellphones and texting.
  • One in five teen girls and one in ten younger teen girls (13 to 16) have electronically sent or posted nude or semi-nude photos or videos of themselves. Even more teen girls, 37 percent, have sent or posted sexually suggestive text, email or IM (instant messages).
  • In a 2009 survey of parents, three in four parents say they have had a conversation with their teen about what it means to be in a healthy relationship – but 74 percent of sons and 66 percent of daughters said they have not had a conversation about dating abuse with a parent in the past year.   

Teen dating violence is a growing issue with long term consequences. It is important for parents and teachers to address this issue before it becomes a problem in their teen’s life. Take the time to talk to the teens in your life about this issue!

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