How serious is the problem of dating abuse?
- In the U.S. alone, approximately 1 in 3
adolescent girls (estimates up to 35%) is a victim of
- 80% of teens say they know someone who
has been controlled by a partner, and 60% know someone who has
been physically abused. 29% of teens say that they themselves
have been physically abused by a dating partner, and 54% report
some form of abuse – yet only 37% of parents are aware that
their child has been abused in some way.4
- 47% of 13-18 year olds who have been in
relationships reported that they have personally been victimized
by controlling behaviors from a boyfriend or girlfriend.4
- Dating violence can have a negative
effect on health throughout life. Teens who are victims are more
likely to be depressed and do poorly in school.5 They may engage in unhealthy behaviors,
like using drugs and alcohol5, and are more likely to have eating
disorders.6 Some teens
even think about or attempt suicide.7 Teens who are victims in high school are at
higher risk for victimization during college.8
- 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
- Almost one-third of girls who have been
in a relationship (29%) said they’ve been pressured to have
sex or to engage in sexual acts when they didn’t want to do
- Nearly 80% of females reported
experiencing at least one incident of physical or sexual
aggression by the end of college.10
- 49% of males (high school to 4th year in
college) report using at least one incident of physical or sexual
violence against an intimate partner.11
A., & Kelleher, K. (2007). Dating violence, sexual assault,
and suicide attempts among minority adolescents. Archives of
Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine. 161(6). 609-610.
for Disease Control and Prevention. (2006). Physical dating
violence among high school students-United States, 2003. MMWR
Weekly. May 19, 2006. 55(19); 532-535.
R. (2005). Youth violence in everyday life. Journal of
Interpersonal Violence. 20, 442-447.
Impact of the Economy and Parent/Teen Dialogue on Dating
Relationships and Abuse. Liz Claiborne, Inc.
VL & Cross C. Consequences of teen dating violence:
Understanding intervening variables in ecological context.
Violence Against Women. 2008:14(9):998-1013.
- Ackard DM
& Neumark-Sztainer D, Date violence and date rape among
adolescents: Associations with disordered eating behaviors and
psychological health. Child Abuse and Neglect.
for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical Dating Violence
Among High School Students—United States, 2003. MMWR
- Smith PH,
White JW, Holland LJ. A longitudinal perspective on dating
violence among adolescent and college-age women. American Journal
of Public Health. 2003;93(7):1104–9.
Claiborne Inc. Topline Findings Teen Relationship Abuse Survey
(Conducted March 2006)
Jacquelyn and Paige Hall Smith. “Covariation in the Use of
Physical and Sexual Intimate Partner Aggression Among Adolescent
and College-Age Men: A Longitudinal Analysis.” Violence
Against Women. 2009.