Violence and Teen Dating
One in three girls will be in a controlling or abusive dating relationship before she graduates from high school. This abuse can range from verbal and emotional abuse to sexual abuse or physical battering. It has been shown that in most cases, teen dating violence sets the stage for future partner domestic violence.
Adolescent girls in dating relationships often confuse jealousy and possessiveness with flattery. Although this kind of attention appears to be flattering to young girls, it can promote a false sense of assurance and false hopes. Adolescent girls are led to believe that abusive situations are love, even though they spend most of the time in the relationship crying or apologizing for their behavior.
Adolescent males are not exempt from teen dating violence. It has been reported that one in six boys are abused by female adolescents before age eighteen. The power differential often changes between the young boy and the young girl when males reaches the age of fourteen. In addition, it is not uncommon for girls to humiliate or embarrass their boyfriends.
The National Center for Victims of Crimes reported the following:
- Over forty percent of male and female high school students said they had been victims of dating violence at least once.
- Fifty to eighty percent of teens have reported knowing others who were involved in violent relationships.
- Fifteen percent of teen females and males reported being victims of severe dating violence (defined as being hit, kicked, thrown down, or attacked with a weapon).
- Eight percent of eighth and ninth grade students have reported being victims of sexual dating violence.