Written by: Lindsay Swope, Domestic Violence Counselor with Agnesian HealthCare
Many times when we think of abusive relationships we often think of relationships involving adults; however abuse among teens in intimate relationships is occurring as we speak. Below are statistics that only begin to shed light on this prevalent issue of teen dating violence.
- Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
- One in three adolescents in the United States is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner; a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.
- One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
- One quarter of high school girls have been victims of physical or sexual abuse.
- Approximately 70 percent of college students say they have been sexually coerced.
Often times, unhealthy relationships can begin in a teen’s early years and last into their lifetime. Teens sometimes believe that certain behaviors, such as teasing, calling names, obsessively texting partner, etc., is healthy. Unfortunately these behaviors can often develop into even more severe abuse over time. Dating violence also puts teens at an increased risk of pregnancy, lower self-esteem, suicidal thoughts and attempts, and eating disorders.
Early warning signs of dating violence
- Unusual bruising
- Loss of interest in hobbies
- Responding immediately to partners texts or phone calls
- Loss of peer relationships
- Making excuses for partner’s behavior
- Fear of partner
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Division of Violence Prevention, February 2014. http://www.cdc.gov/Features/DatingViolence/
LoveisRespect, February 2014. Dating Abuse Statistics. http://www.loveisrespect.org/is-this-abuse/dating-violence-statistics
Office of Adolescent Health, 2013. Teen Dating Violence—Awareness and Prevention. http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/news/e-updates/eupdate-11.html