Unfortunately, teen dating violence—the type of intimate partner violence that occurs between two young people who are, or who were once in, an intimate relationship—is a serious problem in the United States.A national survey found that ten percent of teens, female and male, had been the victims of physical dating violence within the past year and can increase the risk of physical injury, poor academic performance, binge drinking, suicide attempts, unhealthy sexual behaviors, substance abuse, negative body image and self-esteem, and violence in future relationships.
The message must be clear that treating people in abusive ways will not be accepted, and policies must enforce this message to keep students safe.About a third of American youths say they have been victims of dating violence, either physically, sexually or psychologically.But nearly the same amount also said they have been on the offending end, according to new research presented at the American Psychological Association's annual convention on Wednesday.Researchers surveyed more than 1,000 individuals between the ages of 14 and 20 and found an overlap between reports of victimization and perpetration.On the other hand, boys more often said they had committed sexual dating violence.
Though the rates overall typically increased with age, the findings were consistent across race, ethnicity and income levels.Ybarra said in the statement that the overlap between victimization and perpetration should play a role in developing prevention programs and that those constructing the programs should not "assume there are distinct victims and perpetrators." "We need to think about the dynamics within relationships that may result in someone both perpetrating and being victimized by their partner; as well as the extent to which dating abuse may follow a teen from one relationship to another," Ybarra said.Of the girls surveyed, 41 percent said they had been victims of dating violence, but 35 percent said they had committed dating violence at some point.The divide was slightly greater for boys, with 37 percent saying they had been victims of dating violence and 29 percent saying they had been the perpetrator."These rates of adolescent dating violence are alarming and suggest that dating violence is simply too common among our youth," said researcher Michele Ybarra, of the Center for Innovative Public Health Research, in a statement.Researchers found that girls were far more likely than boys to report being victims of sexual dating violence, as well as committing physical dating violence.