Teen Dating Violence
Teen dating violence is controlling, abusive, and aggressive behavior in a romantic relationship.
It occurs in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships and can include any combination of verbal, emotional, physical, sexual abuse, and even financial abuse.
It may start as early as middle school when youth start dating for the first time. The dangerous effects of teen dating violence and sexual assault can significantly affect the rest of a teenager’s life if it is not prevented or stopped. Even after the violence has ended, victims are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors, including binge drinking, cocaine use, suicide attempts, and eating disorders.
A few statistics & facts
- Approximately 1 in 3 girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.1
- Technology (Facebook, Twitter, blogging, text messaging, etc.) that tweens and teens use allows teen dating violence to increase in pervasiveness, but remain more hidden than ever.
- Only 3% of students who experience dating violence tell an authority figure, while 60% tell a friend.
- In Philadelphia, the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that 13.6% of girls and 7.7% of boys reported that they were hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their romantic partners in the past year, and 11.2% of female students and 4.9% of male students reported they were physically forced to have sexual intercourse when they did not want to in a current or previous relationship. The nationwide average for the occurance of phyiscal violence was 11.7% for girls and 7.5% for boys, while the national average for forced sexual intercourse among teen relationships was 10.3% for girls and 3.1% for boys.2
The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.3
Experiencing teen dating violence?
Click here for a list of Philadelphia organizations and resources that can help if you or a friend is experiencing teen dating violence.
Interested in our S.A.F.E.R.™ (Safety Awareness for Every Relationship) program?
Learn more here.
(1) 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/Dating%20Violence%20Among%20Teens.pdf.
(2) MMWR August 12, 2016 / Vol. 65 / No. 9
(3) S.L. Feld & M.A. Strauss, Criminology, 27, 141-161, (1989).