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Facts and Figures

Approximately one in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.
o Silverman, et. al., 2001

In a Liz Clairborne Inc. study, 62% of tweens (age 11-14) who have been in a relationship say they know friends who have been verbally abused (called stupid, worthless, ugly, etc.) by a boyfriend/girlfriend.
o Liz Claiborne, Teen Research Unlimited Survey, released July 2008

Forty percent of girls age 14 to 17 reports knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.
o Children Now/Kaiser Permanente Poll, December 1995

In a survey of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students, 40% answered 'yes' to the question, "have you ever been hurt physically or sexually by a date or someone you were going out with?"
o Tham, K., et al., 2000

In a study of eighth and ninth graders, 25% indicated that they had been victims of dating violence, including 8% who disclosed being sexually abused.
o Foshee, et. al, 1996

In a study of 724 adolescent mothers between the ages of 12-18, one of every eight pregnant adolescents reported having been physically assaulted by the father of her baby during the preceding 12 months. Of these, 40% also reported experiencing violence at the hands of a family member or relative.
o Wiemann, et. al., 2000

In a survey of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer identified youth, 49% of the respondents reported feeling abused by a partner in a past relationship.
o Silverman, et. al., 2001

71% of teens regard boyfriends/girlfriends spreading rumors about them on cell phones and social networking sites as a serious problem.

68% of teens say boyfriends/girlfriends sharing private or embarrassing pictures/videos on cell phones and computers is a serious problem.

Nearly 1 in 4 teens in a relationship communicated with their partner via cell phone or texting HOURLY between midnight and 5:00am.

One in three teens say they are text messaged 10, 20, 30 times an hour by a partner inquiring where they are, what they're doing, or who they're with.

One in four teens in a relationship say they have been called names, harassed, or put down by their partner through cell phones and texting.

One in five teens in a relationship have been asked to engage in sex by cell phone or the Internet when they do not want to.

Source: Teenage Research Unlimited, Technology & Teen Dating Abuse Survey, 2007

Warning Signs of Abuse in Teen Dating Relationships

Verbal abuse including name calling and put downs

Extreme jealousy

Canceling plans at the last minute, monitoring and other controlling behavior

Uncontrolled anger, partner is cruel to animals and/or children

Isolation from family and friends

Dramatic mood changes, hyper-sensitivity


Quick progression of the relationship

Partner believes in rigid sex roles

Weight, appearance or grades have changed dramatically signs of depression, which could indicate abuse

Use of drugs/alcohol by their partner

Safety Planning for Teens
You should think ahead about ways to be safe if you are in a dangerous or potentially dangerous relationship. Here are some things to consider in designing your own safety plan.

What adults can you tell about the violence and abuse?

What people at school can you tell in order to be safe--teachers, principal, counselors, security?

Consider changing your route to/from school.

Use a buddy system for going to school, classes and after school activities.

What friends can you tell to help you remain safe?

If stranded, who could you call for a ride home?

Keep a journal describing the abuse.

Get rid of or change the number to any beepers, pagers or cell phones.

Keep spare change, calling cards, number of the local shelter, number of someone who could help you and restraining orders with you at all times.

Where could you go quickly to get away from an abusive person?

What other things can you do?

Teens Talk to Teens Who are Victims
How to Help a Friend in an Abusive Relationship

Listen - don't judge

Point out the different types of abuse

Express your concerns

Encourage your friend to create a safety plan

Support your friend's strengths

Reach out to adults for help

Talk to the abusive partner, if you feel safe doing it

Be there, listen and stay there

Keep educating yourself about dating violence

Dating Bill of Rights

I have a right to: ask for a date, refuse a date, suggest activities, refuse any activities - even if my date is excited about them, have my own feelings and be able to express them, say "I think you are wrong and your actions are inappropriate, tell someone not to interrupt me, have my limits and values respected, tell my partner when I need affection, refuse affection, be heard, refuse to lend money, refuse sex any time for any reason, and have friends and space aside from my partner.

I have the responsibility to: determine my limits and values, respect the limits of others, communicate clearly and honestly, not violate the limits of others, ask for help when I need it, be considerate, check my actions and decisions to determine whether they are good or bad for me, and set high goals for myself.

Sources: Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence newsletter, Winter 1999, Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Family Relations Journal, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, New Directions in Research Journal, Domestic Violence Advocacy Program of Family Resources, Inc., Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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