What We Know about Teen Dating Violence*
*Adapted from Do Something: 11 Facts About Teen Dating Violence
- It occurs too often: Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year and 33% of adolescents are victim to sexual, physical, verbal or emotional dating abuse.
- It disproportionately affects youth: Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average.
- Its effects are long-lasting: Being physically or sexually abused makes teen girls 6x more likely to become pregnant and 2x more likely to get a STI, and are also subject to long-term consequences such as alcoholism, eating disorders, promiscuity, suicidal thoughts and violent behavior.
- It is underreported: Only one-third of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse.
- It starts early: Violent behavior often begins between 6th and 12th grade, with 72% of 13 and 14-year-olds reporting that they are dating.
If you suspect a teen in your life is a victim of teen dating violence, contact the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline at 866.331.9474 or 866.331.8453 (TTY).
Parents play a very important role in helping their adolescents avoid teen dating violence. Although they may not seem to welcome your involvement, teens in abusive situations definitely need the support of their parents. Check out the Start Strong program for some great tips and resources on how to help your teens.
Athletic coaches play an extremely influential and unique role in the lives of young men, often serving as a parent or mentor to the boys they coach. Because of these special relationships, coaches are poised to positively influence how young men think and behave both on, and off, the field. From speeches to the team, practice sessions, or simply casual conversation, coaches have many opportunities to impart their philosophies to athletes.
Prevention and Awareness:
Supporting the development of healthy, respectful, and nonviolent relationships has the potential to reduce the occurrence of TDV and prevent its harmful and long-lasting effects on individuals, their families, and the communities where they live. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has several teen dating violence prevention resources to help stop intimate partner violence and teen dating violence before it starts.