Know the Facts
Aiming for healthy relationships
Dating abuse is defined as physical, sexual, or psychological/emotional violence within a dating relationship. 72% of eighth and ninth graders reportedly “date”; by the time they are in high school, 54% of students report dating abuse among their peers (CDC, 2006). Many of these cases can be prevented by helping adolescents develop skills for healthy relationships with others (Foshee et al., 2005).
Did you know?
- Nearly half of teen girls who have been in a relationship say they have been victims of verbal, physical, or sexual abuse by their boyfriends (Tween/Teen Dating Relationships Survey, 2008).
- 1 in 5 high school girls has been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner (Silverman et al., 2001).
- Victims of dating abuse are not only at increased risk for injury, they are also more likely to engage in binge drinking, suicide attempts, physical fights, and sexual activity (CDC, 2006).
- Young people who reported sexual assault in the year prior to the study were 2.4 times more likely to report alcohol abuse, 1.6 times to report marijuana abuse, and 2.6 times more likely to report hard drug use (Bailey & McCloskey, 2005)
- Dating abuse is associated with unhealthy sexual behaviors that can lead to unintended pregnancy, sexually-transmitted diseases, and HIV infections (Silverman et al., 2001).
- Abusive dating experiences during adolescence may disrupt normal development of self-esteem and body image (Ackard & Neumark-Sztainer, 2002).
- Adolescents in abusive relationships often carry these unhealthy patterns of abuse into future relationships (Smith et al., 2003).