High-School Students

  • Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year. 1
  • One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence. 2
  • One in ten high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend. 3

Why Focus on Young Women

  • Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average. 4
  • Among female victims of intimate partner violence, 94% of that age 16-19 and 70% of that age 20-24 were victimized by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend. 5
  • Violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18. 6
  • The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence. 7

College Students

  • Nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors. 8
  • College students are not equipped to deal with dating abuse – 57% say it is difficult to identify and 58% say they don’t know how to help someone who’s experiencing it. 9
  • One in three (36%) dating college students has given a dating partner their computer, email or social network passwords and these students are more likely to experience digital dating abuse. 10
  • One in six (16%) college women have been sexually abused in a dating relationship. 11

Effects of abuse

  • Violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications by putting the victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence. 12
  • Being physically or sexually abused makes teen girls six times more likely to become pregnant and twice as likely to get a STI. 13
  • Half of youth who have been victims of both dating violence and rape attempt suicide, compared to 12.5% of non-abused girls and 5.4% of non-abused boys. 14

Lack of Awareness

  • Only 33% of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse. 15
  • Eighty-one (81) percent of parents believe teen-dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue. 16
  • Though 82% of parents feel confident that they could recognize the signs if their child was experiencing dating abuse, a majority of parents a majority of parents (58%) could not correctly identify all the warning signs of abuse. 17
References
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Physical Dating Violence Among High School Students—United States, 2003,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 19, 2006, Vol. 55, No. 19.
  2. 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/2008_focus_teen_dating_violence.pdf.
  3. Grunbaum JA, Kann L, Kinchen S, et al. 2004. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2003. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 53(SS02); 1-96. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5302a1.htm.
  4. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice and Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the United States, 1993-2004. Dec. 2006.
  5. Callie Marie Rennison, Ph.D., Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Intimate Partner Violence and Age of Victim, 1993-99” (2001). Available at: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/ipva99.pdf
  6. Rosado, Lourdes, The Pathways to Youth Violence; How Child Maltreatment and Other Risk Factors Lead Children to Chronically Aggressive Behavior. 2000. American Bar Association Juvenile Justice Center.
  7. S.L. Feld & M.A. Strauss, Criminology, 27, 141-161, (1989).
  8. Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc. (Formerly: Liz Claiborne, Inc.), Conducted by Knowledge Networks, (December 2010). “College Dating Violence and Abuse Poll,” Available at: https://www.breakthecycle.org/surveys.
  9. Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc. (Formerly: Liz Claiborne, Inc.), Conducted by Knowledge Networks, (December 2010). “College Dating Violence and Abuse Poll,” Available at: https://www.breakthecycle.org/surveys.
  10. Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc. (Formerly: Liz Claiborne, Inc.), Conducted by Knowledge Networks, (December 2010). “College Dating Violence and Abuse Poll,” Available at: https://www.breakthecycle.org/surveys.
  11. Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc. (Formerly: Liz Claiborne, Inc.), Conducted by Knowledge Networks, (December 2010). “College Dating Violence and Abuse Poll,” Available at: https://www.breakthecycle.org/surveys.
  12. Jay G. Silverman, PhD; Anita Raj, PhD; Lorelei A. Mucci, MPH; Jeanne E. Hathaway, MD, MPH, “Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidality” JAMA. 2001;286(5):572-579. doi:10.1001/jama.286.5.572
  13. Decker M, Silverman J, Raj A. 2005. Dating Violence and Sexually Transmitted Disease/HIV Testing and Diagnosis Among Adolescent Females. Pediatrics. 116: 272-276.
  14. D. M. Ackard, Minneapolis, MN, and D. Neumark-Sztainer, Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, Date Violence and Date Rape Among Adolescents: Associations with Disordered Eating Behaviors and Psychological Health, Child Abuse & Neglect, 26 455-473, (2002).
  15. Liz Claiborne Inc., conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, (February 2005).
  16. “Women’s Health,” June/July 2004, Family Violence Prevention Fund and Advocates for Youth, http://www.med.umich.edu/whp/newsletters/summer04/p03-dating.html.
  17. Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc. (Liz Claiborne, Inc.), Conducted by Teen Research Unlimited, (May 2009). “Troubled Economy Linked to High Levels of Teen Dating Violence & Abuse Survey 2009,” Available at: https://www.breakthecycle.org/surveys.