How do you know if your teen is subject to be a victim of teen dating violence (TDV)? Would you know the signs? How well do you know about the person who spends a great deal of time with your teen? Truthfully, no parent can conclusively say that they know their teen would NEVER allow someone to disrespect them? This issue happens more often than we know.
According to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Teens become more interested in dating around their mid-teens and become more involved in dating relationships during high school. Nearly two-thirds of teens (ages 13-17) have not been in a dating or romantic relationship. Thirty-five percent of teens (ages 13-17) have some experience with romantic relationships, and 19 percent are currently in a relationship. Older teens (ages 15-17) are more likely than younger teens to have experience with romantic relationships.
Teen dating violence is a big problem, affecting youth in every community across the nation.
Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year. One in three 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. One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
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 a STI. 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.
Only 33% of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse. Eighty-one (81) percent of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue. 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.
If you think your child may need help, talk with them and let them know you are concerned and love them unconditionally. You can also call the DV hotline at 800-799-TALK (7233).