Teenagers often experience violence in dating relationships. Statistics show that one in three teenagers has experienced violence in a dating relationship. In dating violence, one partner tries to maintain power and controlover the other through abuse. Dating violence crosses all racial, economic and social lines. Most victims are young women, who are also at greater risk for serious injury. All teens need a dating safety plan.
Teen dating violence often is hidden because teenagers typically:
- are inexperienced with dating relationships.
- are pressured by peers to act violently.
- want independence from parents.
- have “romantic” views of love.
Teen dating violence is influenced by how teenagers look at themselves and others.
- they have the right to “control” their female partners in any way necessary.
- “masculinity” is physical aggressiveness
- they “possess” their partner.
- they should demand intimacy.
- they may lose respect if they are attentive and supportive toward their girlfriends.
|Young women may believe:
Teenagers can choose better relationships when they learn to identify the early warning signs of an abusive relationship, understand that they have choices, and believe they are valuable people who deserve to be treated with respect.
|Common clues that indicate a teenager may be experiencing dating violence:
|Help is available for teenagers!
If you are a teenager involved in an abusive relationship, you need to remember that no one deserves to be abused or threatened. Remember you cannot change your batterer, and in time the violence will get worse. You need to take care of yourself. Talk to a trusted adult or locate a shelter or agency serving victims of domestic abuse in your community. Together, you can talk about making a plan to end the relationship and remain safe.
Call S.A.F.E., Inc. 24-hour hotline, 1-800-527-7233. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
loveisrespect.org is 24-hour resource that utilizes telephone and web-based interactive technology to reach teens and young adults experiencing dating abuse. The Helpline numbers are: (866) 331-9474 and TTY (866) 331-8453. The peer to peer online individual chat function is available from 4 p.m. to midnight and can be accessed from the website.
Women ages 16 to 24 experience the highest per capita rates of intimate violence–nearly 20 per 1000 women.
Teen Dating Statistics
- About one in three high school students have been or will be involved in an abusive relationship.
- Forty percent of teenage girls ages 14 to 17 say they know someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.
- In one study, from 30 to 50 percent of female high school students reported having already experienced teen dating violence.
- Teen dating violence most often takes place in the home of one of the partners.
- In 1995, 7 percent of all murder victims were young women who were killed by their boyfriends.
- One in five or 20 percent of dating couples report some type of violence in their relationship.
- One of five college females will experience some form of dating violence.
- A survey of 500 young women, ages 15 to 24, found that 60 percent were currently involved in an ongoing abusive relationship and all participants had experienced violence in a dating relationship.
- One study found that 38 percent of date rape victims were young women from 14 to 17 years of age.
- A survey of adolescent and college students revealed that date rape accounted for 67 percent of sexual assaults.
- More than half young women raped (68 percent) knew their rapist either as a boyfriend, friend or casual acquaintance.
- Six out of 10 rapes of young women occur in their own home or a friend or relative’s home, not in a dark alley.
More than 4 in every 10 incidents of domestic violence involves non-married persons (Bureau of Justice Special Report: Intimate Partner Violence, May 2000)