February is T.D.V.A.M. (Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month), at the age of seventeen, I myself was in a violent relationship which I have previously posted (See Blog Here). While researching some stats, the numbers actually shocked me.
Loveisrespect.org lists the following stats:
- Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
- 1 in 3 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.
- 1 in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
The website also gives very good reason and stats as to why we need to focus on young people:
- Girls and young women between ages sixteen and twenty-four experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence (that is 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 typically begins between the ages of twelve and eighteen.
- The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.
As for college students:
- Nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors.
- 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.
- 1 in 3 (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.
- 1 in 6 (16%) college women has been sexually abused in a dating relationship.
The long-lasting effects:
- 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.
- Being physically or sexually abused makes teen girls six times more likely to become pregnant and twice as likely to get an STI.
- Half of youth who have been victims of both dating violence and rate attempt suicide, compared to 12.5% of non-abused girls and 5.4% of non-abused boys.
Just by looking at the above stats from loveisrespect.org teen dating violence is far more common than people think or even realize. Why is that? It is due to lack of awareness, the subject of domestic violence as a whole shows that there needs to be more awareness on the issue. Therefore, there needs to be more awareness brought to teen dating violence as well.
Don’t ever think that your teens are too young to talk about domestic violence. If they are old enough to understand right from wrong, then they are surely old enough to discuss domestic violence. The problem with this though is the lack of awareness from parents.
- Only 33% of teens who were in violent relationships ever told anyone about the abuse.
- 81% of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue.
- Even 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.
So what can be done to change this? Yes, posting blogs can help bring awareness to the issues, but more has to be done. Maybe there can be classes held at schools for parents? Maybe pamphlets and information about teen dating violence can me mailed to students houses; information and stats on the issue, as well as some pointers on how the parents can talk to their teens about dating violence. One thing is for sure, more knowledge on this issue is absolutely needed.
Below I posted a few videos I found on Youtube. Knowledge is POWER!