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Statistics on teen dating abuse

The 2013 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey found approximately 10% of high school students reported physical victimization and 10% reported sexual victimization from a dating partner in the 12 months* before they were surveyed. All too often these examples suggest that violence in a relationship is normal, but violence is never acceptable.

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It can occur in person or electronically and might occur between a current or former dating partner. Healthy relationship behaviors can have a positive effect on a teen’s emotional development.

On this page, find estimates on prevalence from: Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a nationally representative annual survey of youth in grades 9 to 12, found that, of those students who dated someone in the last 12 months, approximately one in 10 reported being a victim of physical violence from a romantic partner during that year.[1]The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, analyzing a nationally representative sample of adolescents in grades 7 to 12 who were then followed over time, showed that approximately 30 percent of people ages 12 to 21 in heterosexual relationships reported experiencing psychological abuse in the past 18 months; 20 percent of youth in same-sex relationships reported experiencing the same type of abuse.[2][3]About 10 percent of students in the Youth Risk Behavior Study who had dated someone in the last 12 months reported that they had been kissed, touched or physically forced to have sexual intercourse against their will by a dating partner during that year.[4]To date, there are no nationally representative data on perpetration of dating violence.

The following percentages of dating teens reported experiencing forms of abuse: An NIJ-funded longitudinal study of 1,162 students in the Midwest examined the prevalence of several kinds of abuse that male and female middle and high school students experienced and perpetrated in teen dating relationships. About one-third of girls and boys (35 percent and 36 percent, respectively) reported experiencing physical violence in a teen dating relationship. Verbal emotional abuse was the most common form of abuse in teen dating relationships for both girls and boys: 73 percent of girls and 66 percent of boys reported experiencing at least one instance of verbal abuse in a dating relationship in high school.

More girls reported perpetrating physical dating violence than boys (34 percent vs. In addition, 64 percent of girls and 45 percent of boys reported perpetrating verbal emotional abuse toward a dating partner. Nearly one in four girls and one in seven boys reported being victims of sexual coercion in a teen dating relationship. ​ NIJ-funded research has also examined the prevalence of dating violence among a national sample of Latino adolescents.

When assembling these statistics, we have generally retained the wording used by the authors.

Statistics are presented for educational purposes only.

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