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. In the process of socializing during adolescence, early teens usually remain in same-sex groups with very little social contact with the opposite sex, while mid-adolescents tend to hang out together in a loose confederation of boys and girls.
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A survey of adolescent and college students revealed that date rape accounted for 67% of sexual assaults and 60% of rapes take place in the victim's home or in that of a friend or relative.
Dating violence seems to decrease once young adults move beyond being a teenager.
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.
Several different words are used to describe teen dating violence. Dating violence is widespread with serious long-term and short-term effects. Unhealthy, abusive, or violent relationships can have severe consequences and short- and long-term negative effects on a developing teen.
Emotional abuse is commonly present alongside the physical abuse or sexual abuse that takes place.
Sexual violence in dating relationships is also a major concern.
At worst, we’re remembering the teen who retired Ohio teacher Deloris Rome Hudson will never forget: The one strangled to death by her boyfriend, one month before her high school graduation. And that can happen from the youngest grades on up, when we help students understand what a healthy relationship looks like, and know that they deserve that instead.
Today’s educators need to be alert to the signs of teen dating abuse. Learning how to develop and maintain positive relationships is part of the social and emotional learning that keeps us all safe and happy—and leads to academic success.
Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime.