Victim In CJ
By Kate Spain
Teen dating violence can be defined as the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence between two people in a dating relationship. Stalking can also be considered dating violence. It can occur in person or electronically and may occur between a current or former dating partner. In a nationwide survey, 9.4 percent of high school students report being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the 12 months prior to the survey. About 1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 7 men who ever experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, first experienced some form of partner violence between 11 and 17 years of age.
Why and how does dating violence occur at such a young age? How does it start? Teens receive messages about how to behave in relationships from peers, adults in their lives, and the media. It is more common now, unfortunately, to allow some level of violence between two people and it be acceptable. A few examples of teens with an increased chance of unhealthy relationships are ones who use alcohol or drugs, hang out with violent peers, suffer from depression, can’t manage anger, or experience violence in the home.
The numbers of violent teen relationships are rising at an alarming rate. Roughly 1.5 million high school boys and girls in the U.S. admit to being intentionally hit or physically harmed in the last year by someone they are romantically involved with. Teens who suffer dating abuse are subject to long-term consequences like alcoholism, eating disorders, promiscuity, thoughts of suicide, and violent behavior. Violent behavior often begins between 6th and 12th grade. 72 percent of 13 and 14-year-olds are “dating.” Teens who have been abused hesitate to seek help because they do not want to expose themselves or are unaware of