Facts about Teen Dating Violence
Dating abuse is a big problem, affecting youth in every community across the nation. Learn the facts below.
- Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
- One in three girls in the US is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.
- One in ten high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
- One quarter of high school girls have been victims of physical or sexual abuse or date rape.
- Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence, almost triple the national average.
- Among female victims of intimate partner violence, 94% of those age 16-19 and 70% of those age 20-24 were victimized by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Violent behavior often begins between the ages of 12 and 18.
- The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.
- About 72% of eighth and ninth graders are 'dating.'
Don’t Forget About College Students
- Nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors.10
- 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.11
- 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.12
- One in six (16%) college women has been sexually abused in a dating relationship.13
- 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.14
- Being physically or sexually abused makes teen girls six times more likely to become pregnant and twice as likely to get a STD.15
- 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.16
- Eight states currently do not include dating relationships in their definition of domestic violence. As a result, youth victims of dating violence cannot apply for restraining orders.17
- New Hampshire is the only state where the law specifically allows a minor of any age to apply for a protection order; more than half of states do not specify the minimum age of a petitioner.18
- Currently only one juvenile domestic violence court in the country focuses exclusively on teen dating violence.19
Lack of Awareness
- Only 33% of teens who were in an abusive relationship ever told anyone about the abuse.20
- Eighty one percent of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue. 21
- Though 82% of parents feel confident that they could recognize the signs if their child was experiencing dating abuse, a majority of parents (58%) could not correctly identify all the warning signs of abuse.22