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The 2016 report of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the health risks of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) high school students found 23% had experienced sexual dating violence, 18% had been forced to have sex, and 18% had experienced physical dating violence.Teens are particularly susceptible to peer pressure and influences, even when violence is involved. Statistics on who is being hurt as well as who is hurting them vary greatly.Research has demonstrated that adolescents’ risk of abusive relationships increases for teenagers who engage in sexual activities at an early age believe dating violence is acceptable, and have conflicts with their partner. Many studies of heterosexual couples have shown that men are normally the perpetrators of dating violence and that women are primarily the victims.
For instance, a 2010 study of sixth graders found that 31% of girls reported being the perpetrators of dating violence while only 27% of boys admitted being violent.For example, a 2009 study found that emotional abuse during childhood was associated with being a perpetrator or victim of teen dating violence for boys and a victim for girls.The bad news for parents and other caring adults is that they are unlikely to be told about these incidents of teen dating violence, making it difficult to deal with the problem.Regardless of gender, dating violence can lead to many problems that extend far beyond the immediate physical abuse.
Victims often have low self-esteem, depression, learning difficulties, suicidal thoughts, and unhealthy weight control behaviors.
The link between adolescent and adult dating violence suggests that if we want to decrease domestic abuse and battery, interventions need to target the young.