WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT TEEN DATING VIOLENCE?

When I mention teen dating violence to people I often get a blank look or a polite nod.  They’ll frequently say, “I don’t know anyone who’s been a victim.  It’s not happened to my kids or any of their friends. “

Sadly, most adults don’t know how pervasive and damaging this epidemic is to our youth, future generations, and society as a whole.

Here are some recent statistics that are sobering and may change your perspective on how teen dating violence affects all of us:

  • Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.1
  • One in three girls in the US is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.2
  • One in ten high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.3
  • One quarter of high school girls have been victims of physical or sexual abuse or date rape.4
  • Violent behavior often begins between the ages of 12 and 18.7
  • The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.8

 

So what happens if teen dating violence is not addressed in earlier teen years?

 

  • Nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors.10
  • College students are not equipped to deal with dating abuse – 57% say it is difficult to identify and 58% say they don’t know how to help someone who’s experiencing it.11
  • One in three (36%) dating college students has given a dating partner their computer, email or social network passwords and these students are more likely to experience digital dating abuse.12
  • One in six (16%) college women has been sexually abused in a dating relationship.13

 

How does this epidemic impact society overall?

 

  • Violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence.14
  • Being physically or sexually abused makes teen girls six times more likely to become pregnant and twice as likely to get a STD.15
  • 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.16

 

Could it be that this teen dating violence is happening all around you and your children and you don’t know it?

 

  • Only 33% of teens who were in an abusive relationship ever told anyone about the abuse.17
  • Eighty one percent of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue.18
  • Though 82% of parents feel confident that they could recognize the signs if their child was experiencing dating abuse, a majority of parents (58%) could not correctly identify all the warning signs of abuse.19

 

Kaity’s Way is here to help raise awareness about teen dating violence and deliver information and programs to help prevent teen dating violence.  Early intervention is key.  If you or someone you know could benefit from additional information or assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

 

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Physical Dating Violence Among High School Students—United States, 2003,”Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 19, 2006, Vol. 55, No. 19.

2 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/2008_focus_teen_dating_violence.pdf.

3 Grunbaum JA, Kann L, Kinchen S, et al. 2004. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2003. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 53(SS02); 1-96. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5302a1.htm.

4 Schoen, C. et al., The Commonwealth Fund Survey for the Health of Adolescent Girls, November 1997.

7 Rosado, Lourdes, The Pathways to Youth Violence; How Child Maltreatment and Other Risk Factors Lead Children to Chronically Aggressive Behavior. 2000. American Bar Association Juvenile Justice Center.

8 S.L. Feld & M.A. Strauss, Criminology, 27, 141-161, (1989).

10 Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc. (Formerly: Liz Claiborne, Inc.), Conducted by Knowledge Networks, (December 2010). “College Dating Violence and Abuse Poll,” Available at: https://www.breakthecycle.org/surveys.

11 Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc. (Formerly: Liz Claiborne, Inc.), Conducted by Knowledge Networks, (December 2010). “College Dating Violence and Abuse Poll,” Available at: https://www.breakthecycle.org/surveys.

12 Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc. (Formerly: Liz Claiborne, Inc.), Conducted by Knowledge Networks, (December 2010). “College Dating Violence and Abuse Poll,” Available at: https://www.breakthecycle.org/surveys.

13 Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc. (Formerly: Liz Claiborne, Inc.), Conducted by Knowledge Networks, (December 2010). “College Dating Violence and Abuse Poll,” Available at: https://www.breakthecycle.org/surveys.

14 Jay G. Silverman, PhD; Anita Raj, PhD; Lorelei A. Mucci, MPH; Jeanne E. Hathaway, MD, MPH, “Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidality”JAMA. 2001;286(5):572-579. doi:10.1001/jama.286.5.572

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

16 D. M. Ackard, Minneapolis, MN, and D. Neumark-Sztainer, Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, Date Violence and Date Rape Among Adolescents: Associations with Disordered Eating Behaviors and Psychological Health, Child Abuse & Neglect, 26 455-473, (2002).

17 Liz Claiborne Inc., conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, (February 2005).

18 “Women’s Health,” June/July 2004, Family Violence Prevention Fund and Advocates for Youth,http://www.med.umich.edu/whp/newsletters/summer04/p03-dating.html.

19 Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc. (Liz Claiborne, Inc.), Conducted by Teen Research Unlimited, (May 2009). “Troubled Economy Linked to High Levels of Teen Dating Violence & Abuse Survey 2009,” Available at: https://www.breakthecycle.org/surveys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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