Every day in America, nearly one in two teenagers, or about half of all youth who are in a relationship feel they are “being threatened, pressured and/or controlled to do things they do not want to do.”
Approximately 72% of eighth and ninth graders are “dating” and more than half of all high school students report seeing TDV (Teen Dating Violence) among their peers. Youth in high school (grades nine through twelve), found that of those they knew that had been in a relationship over the course of one year, 1 in 10 had encountered TDV. Similar to Adult Domestic Violence (ADV), females consistently and disproportionately represent survivors, with young women between the ages of 16-24, THREE TIMES more likely to encounter abuse. In fact, young women, between the ages of 16-20, have consistently experienced the highest rates of relationship violence, even when compared to adult women with acts classified as “severe dating violence” excessively affecting young women.
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. The probability of reaching out for help drops even lower, to just 3% for authoritative figures. Interestingly, 75% of victims will tell a friend or peer.
Another piece of data that might provide additional insight regarding the behavior of TDV victims is that young people, as well as parents, have been unable to identify whether a behavior is TDV behavior, abusive and/or a warning sign. Moreover, as TDV far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence identifying the short and long term impact(s) of TDV is becoming more dire.
Full article Huffington Post: America’s New Norm: Teen Dating Violence. What’s Going on with our Teens & How We Can Better Understand Their World
Resources for Victims of Teen Dating Violence: Youth.gov
Victims of teen dating violence often keep the abuse a secret. They should be encouraged to reach out to trusted adults like parents, teachers, school counselors, youth advisors, or health care providers. They can also seek confidential counsel and advice from professionally trained adults and peers.
Resources for teens involved in abusive relationships include the following:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) or 1.800.787.3224 (TTY) Established in 1996 as a component of the Violence Against Women Act passed by Congress, the Hotline is a nonprofit organization that provides crisis intervention, information, and referral to victims of domestic violence, perpetrators, friends, and families. The Hotline is a resource for domestic violence advocates, government officials, law enforcement agencies, and the general public. The Hotline serves as the only domestic violence hotline in the nation with access to more than 5,000 shelters and domestic violence programs across the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Advocates receive approximately 21,000 calls each month. The Hotline is toll-free, confidential, and anonymous.
The National Centers for Victims of Crime (NCVC) 1-800-FYI-CALL A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization supported by members, individual donors, corporations, foundations, and government grants, NCVC can help find local victim services counselors for young people in trouble. NCVC is the nation’s leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. Since its inception in 1985, NCVC has worked with grassroots organizations and criminal justice agencies throughout the United States serving millions of crime victims.
The National Dating Abuse Helpline 1.866.331.9474 A national, 24-hour resource specifically designed for teens and young adults, the Helpline is accessible by phone or Internet. It offers real-time, one-on-one support from peer advocates trained to offer support, information, and advocacy to those involved in dating abuse relationships as well as concerned friends, parents, teachers, clergy, law enforcement, and service providers.
Break the Cycle A national, nonprofit organization (supported by many philanthropic organizations, government entities and senators, and members of the entertainment industry) which addresses teen dating violence, Break the Cycle’s mission is to engage, educate, and empower youth to build lives and communities free from domestic violence. Break the Cycle provides resources and information for teens, educators, parents, supporters, and the media. The Break the Cycle website provides information about curricula, policy information, legal help and services, public awareness campaigns, and trainings related to teen dating violence.
Love is Respect A collaboration between Break the Cycle and the National Dating Abuse Helpline, this web resource provides information and resources on dating violence and healthy dating attitudes and relationships for youth. The site includes an overview of the issue (e.g., early warning signs, types of abuse, the cycle of abuse), quizzes for teens to determine whether they are experiencing or inflicting abuse, a live chat feature that connects youth with a peer advocate 24/7, videos, a blog, and more. In addition to the live chat, Love is Respect connects youth to the National Dating Abuse Helpline at 1-866-331-9474 or 1-866-331-8453. Youth can also reach out for help by texting “loveis” to 22522.