Teen Dating Violence Facts and Figures
Teen dating violence (sometimes referred to as unhealthy relationships or abuse) occurs when one person in an intimate relationship exercises power and control over the other through a pattern of intentional behaviors, including psychological, emotional, physical and sexual abuse.
There is no “typical” victim of teen dating violence – it can affect anyone from any socioeconomic, demographic, geographic or educational background. The greatest risk factor for victimization is simply being a woman.
Violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications for victims: Many will continue to be abused in their adult relationships and are at a higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior, and suicide.
1 in 5 teens who have been in a serious relationship report being hit, slapped or pushed by a partner.
1 in 4 teens who have been in a serious relationship say their boyfriend or girlfriend has tried to prevent them from spending time with friends or family; the same number have been pressured to only spend time with their partner.
1 in 3 teens reports knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, kicked, slapped or physically hurt by a partner.
45% of girls know a friend or peer who has been pressured into having either intercourse or oral sex
While most people are able to recognize an abusive relationship when it involves physical violence, relationships involving psychological or emotional abuse are more subtle, but no less destructive. It is important to recognize key characteristics of domestic violence so that abuse can be stopped before it becomes life threatening.
Dating violence is not a one time occurrence, it escalates over time.
The progression of violence is outlined below, and includes repeated use of one or more of the following behaviors:
- Put downs
- Use of profanity
- Unfounded accusations
- Cruel and hurtful remarks
- Degrading the victim in public
- Diminishing accomplishments
- Flying into rages
- Holding the victim down against their will
- Throwing or breaking objects
- Using a weapon
- Controlling what friends you hang out with
- Lack of trust/Suspicion
- Following or stalking
- Criticizing your clothes, makeup, and friends
- Threats of suicide
- Threats of physical violence
- Threats of murder
- Minimizes or denies behavior, explosive or critical reactions
- Forcing unwanted sexual acts
- Use of weapons during sex
- Forced sex involving multiple partners
- Inflicts pain during sex
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