Teen Dating Abuse Is Rampant Among Both Girls and Boys

Your Teen Is Not Immune to Dating Abuse

Teenage boy scolding teenage girl
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Do you think that teen dating violence can't happen to your son or daughter? Think she's too young to have that happen, or that it won't happen because he's a boy? National statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on teen dating violence tell a different story.

How Frequent Is Teen Dating Abuse?

The current statistics on teen dating violence tell a scary story:

  • One in 10 teen girls and one in 11 teen boys admits to having experienced physical violence in a dating relationship in the past year. One in three teens say they know someone who has been physically assaulted or hurt by a dating partner.
  • One in five tweens ages 13 and 14 who have been in a relationship say that they know someone who has been hit in anger by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • One in five teens admits to being emotionally abused in the past year.
  • Among 11- to 14-year-olds who have been in relationships, 62% of them know friends who have been verbally abused by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Approximately one in five teen girls have been physically or sexually abused by their partner.
  • 70% of teen girls who have been sexually assaulted knew their attacker. The attacker was a friend, boyfriend or casual acquaintance.
  • More than half of girls surveyed reported mutual aggression in their relationship – meaning that both she and her partner were physically aggressive toward each other.

Beyond Physical Violence and Abuse

In addition to physical violence, many teens are in controlling or emotionally abusive relationships. Bruises and cuts are one sign to look out for, but it's also important for parents to notice signs of anxiety or depression.

Teen dating abuse and violence is happening everywhere to a startling number of teens. It's important for parents to know the statistics, the signs that your teen's partner is an abuser, what the cycle of abuse in a relationship looks like, and what to look for if you think your teen is being abused.

Educated parents can help to stop this epidemic of abuse in teen relationships.

Sources:

Choose Respect: Dating Abuse Statistics. Centers for Disease Control. March 15, 2009. http://www.chooserespect.org/scripts/teens/statistics.asp

Teen Dating Violence. The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center. March 15, 2009. http://www.safeyouth.org/scripts/faq/dateviolfacts.asp#9

Teen Dating Violence: A Closer Look at Adolescent Romantic Relationships. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. March 15, 2009. http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/journals/261/teen-dating-violence.htm

Tween Relationship Study. National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline. March 15, 2009. http://www.loveisrespect.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/tru-tween-teen-study-feb-081.pdf

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