Dating Violence

Dating violence can involve emotional, psychological, physical or sexual abuse. This article contains statistics related to dating violence and teenagers, health problems as a result of dating violence, and advise on developing healthy dating relationships.

One of the pervasive problems in society has to do with dating violence. The recent incident involving popular performing artists Chris Brown and Rhianna illustrates the fact that dating violence is a reality in our society. The publicity that marked Brown’s beating of Rhianna brought attention to this problem in society, and provides a catalyst for conversation about the reality of dating violence.

Dating violence is when some sort of violence occurs in a dating relationship. This violence can be emotional or psychological, in addition to physical and sexual. It is important to realize that dating violence is unacceptable. Those who are victims of dating violence need to be treated with concern and respect, not just teen violence but any dating violence.

Statistics related to dating violence and teenagers

Dating violence affects all ages, and affects both genders, although recipients are most often females. The numbers of adolescents who are victims of dating violence are on the rise, and this can set the stage for relationship difficulties later in life. Here are some statistics about dating violence from the Centers for Disease Control:

  • 1 in 11 adolescents has reported that they have experienced physical dating violence.
  • 25% of adolescents say that they are victims of some sort of dating violence (emotional, psychological, sexual or physical) each year.
  • 20% of girls in high school report that they have been physically or sexually abused by someone they were dating.
  • The incidence of adolescent dating violence is higher among black students than it is among Hispanic and white students.
  • 54% of students report that they have seen dating violence amongst their peers.

This information is especially telling when you realize that 72% of students in eighth and ninth grade “date”. The indications are that students are younger when they start dating - and that they may not be emotionally mature enough for dating. This can set the stage for dating violence as they grow older.

Health problems as a result of dating violence

Dating violence can result in actual health issues. This is one of the reasons that it is important to address the problem of dating violence. The Centers for Disease Control offers these statistics on health problems related to dating violence:

  • 70% of girls and 52% of boys in high school report direct injuries from dating violence, and 9% of girls and 8% of boys have been to the emergency as a result of their dating relationships.
  • Those who are victims of dating violence are more likely to attempt suicide and engage in dangerous binge drinking activities. Drug use is also more common in those who have experienced dating violence. These activities can lead to impaired health later in life.
  • Mental health problems can also result from dating violence, especially if the teen violence is emotional or psychological in nature. These problems can lead to substance abuse, depression and other problems later in life.
  • Victims of dating violence are more likely to engage in unhealthy teen sexual behaviors, leading to health problems, STDs and teen pregnancy.

In addition to direct impact on health, dating violence can also cause problems to perpetuate. Those who are involved in dating violence, either as victims or as perpetrators, continue their habits in the future. This can make it difficult to break the cycle of dating violence, as well as preventing those involved from developing healthy relationships.

Developing healthy dating relationships

In order to help reduce dating violence, it is important to develop relationships of respect. Adults play a large role in helping teenagers develop health relationships with their peers and dating partners. It is important to help teenagers learn about compromise, communication, honesty and conflict resolution. These are relationship skills that can help teens avoid resorting to violence.

It is also important to help teenagers develop positive images of themselves and their bodies, and help them develop confidence in themselves. Confident teens are less likely to allow themselves to be dominated by an abusive dating partner, and seek to leave the situation.

Before they begin dating, encourage teens to develop healthy, non-dating relationships with others. If they can develop health relationships with parents, friends and siblings, they are more likely to have healthy dating relationships. This can be important later in life - and even right now.

Dating violence is a very real problem, and it is vital that you do what you can to be an example of healthy relationships, while encouraging your teen to engage in health relationships of his or her own.

Related Article: Youth Violence Statistics >>