While teen dating violence can happen to anyone, the majority of the violence affects young women.
Women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence – almost the national average.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) in adolescents is an important realm of study as, in addition to the usual negative effects of abuse, this violence occurs at a critical period in the social and mental development of a person.
This is also an important topic from a gender studies perspective as almost 32% of male adolescents engage in some form of violence, whether sexual, physical or emotional, towards their partners while adolescent violence from females is nearly half of that rate.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been a well examined and documented phenomenon in adults; however, there has not been nearly as much study on violence in adolescent dating relationships, and it is therefore not as well understood.
The research has mainly focused on Caucasian youth, and there are yet no studies which focus specifically on IPV in adolescent same-sex romantic relationships.
Most alarming regarding this data, is that these figures are likely a bit lower than projected as only about a third of teens will tell someone about the abuse he/she is experiencing; only 6% of victims will tell a family member.
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (Teen DV Month), a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships and promote programs that prevent it, and YOU have the power to help!
Talk to teachers at your local high school, bring up dating violence at the next school board meeting, and have a conversation with the teens in your life about healthy relationships.
We’ll kick off Teen DVMonth tomorrow, February 4th, with It’s Time to Talk Day.
Hosted by Break the Cycle’s Love Is Not Abuse Campaign, It’s Time To Talk Day is an annual awareness day that aims to generate conversations about healthy relationships and prevent teen dating violence and abuse. Another great way to get involved this month is to participate in Respect Week, February 10-14, hosted by the loveisrespect National Youth Advisory Board (NYAB).