Approximately 1 in 3
teens in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.
high school students are physically abused by their partner every year.
women and nearly 1 million men first experienced being stalked before the age of 18.
Peer to Peer Teen Fellowship
Dating violence can take several forms, including:
Physical: pinching, hitting, kicking
Sexual: forcing sex without consent
Emotional: threatening, bullying, shaming, isolating, and/or manipulating
Stalking: receiving unwanted letters, phone calls, emails, or text messages, being followed or watched, and/or being physically approached unwantedly
Financial: taking or hiding money, preventing a partner from earning money
FACT: Teen dating violence is as common as domestic violence in adult relationships. A 2001 study of high school students conducted by Harvard University found that 1 in 5 teenage girls had been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.
FACT: Research shows that teen girls are not as likely to be as abusive as teen boys. Teen boys are far more likely to initiate violence and teen girls are more likely to be violent in a case of self-defense. Males are more likely to report they use violence to intimidate, cause fear, or force their girlfriends into doing something. Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Justice statistics reports that over 90% of the reported incidents of assaults in all relationships are committed by males.
FACT: Teen dating violence can be very dangerous – sometimes lethal. Results of teen dating violence and sexual assault include serious physical harm, emotional damage, sexually transmitted disease, unwanted pregnancy, and death. One in three high school students have been or will be involved in an abusive relationship. 40% of teenage girls ages 14 to 17 say they know someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend and women ages 16-24 experience the highest rate per capita of intimate violence.
FACT: Dating violence is NEVER a victim’s fault. There is no such thing as victim precipitated violence and the victim has not control over the abuse.
FACT: Teen dating violence and sexual assault is estimated to occur between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth at about the same rate as in straight teen relationships. However, LGBTQ youth are even less likely than heterosexual youth to tell anyone or seek help, and there are fewer resources for these teens.
FACT: Teens experiencing dating violence usually tell no one. Only 33% tell anyone about the abuse and even fewer tell their parents. When they do tell, they usually tell another teen.
FACT: There are many reasons youth may stay in abusive relationship: fear, wanting to be loved and needed, having a partner may be important to a youth’s social status, believing the abuser’s apologies and promises to never do it again, peer pressure, loss of self-confidence, not recognizing what’s happening is abusive, and the impact of TV, music, movies and other forms of media that normalize violence.
FACT: Alcohol and drugs can and do exacerbate violence, but they are NEVER the cause of violence. Additionally, many people who batter do not drink heavily and many alcoholics do not beat their partners.
1. Roughly 1.5 million high school boys and girls in the U.S. admit to being intentionally hit or physically harmed in the last year by someone they are romantically involved with.
2. Teens who suffer dating abuse are subject to long-term consequences like alcoholism, eating disorders, promiscuity, thoughts of suicide, and violent behavior.
3. 1 in 3 young people will be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship.
4. 33% of adolescents in America are victim to sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional dating abuse.
5. In the U.S., 25% of high school girls have been abused physically or sexually. Teen girls who are abused this way are 6 times more likely to become pregnant or contract a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
6. Females between the ages of 16 and 24 are roughly 3 times more likely than the rest of the population to be abused by an intimate partner.