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Dating Violence Teens FAQ: How common is dating violence among teens?

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Question: Dating Violence Teens FAQ: How common is dating violence among teens?
Answer: According to a study published in the December 2010 issue of the Journal of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, teen violence occurs in almost 1 in 5 couples. The study done at the Boston University School of Public Health, surveyed 1,398 urban high school students at 22 schools in Boston in 2008 and asked if they had physically hurt a girlfriend or boyfriend, sibling or peer within the previous month. The authors, lead by associate professor Emily F. Rothman, defined physical abuse as "pushing, shoving, slapping, hitting, punching, kicking, or choking." Playful aggression was excluded.

A whopping 19 percent of teens who were surveyed said they'd abused their boyfriend, girlfriend, someone they were dating or someone they were simply having sex with in the past month. Among those teens who admitted to dating violence, 9.9 percent reported kicking, hitting, or choking a partner; 17.6 percent said they had shoved or slapped a partner, and 42.8 percent had cursed at or called him or her "fat," "ugly," "stupid" or a similar insult.

These results show that dating violence among teens is much more common than once thought. Parents of teens who are dating should add this information to their talks with their teen, look for warning signs and be open to listening to their teen's questions about dating violence.

Dating Violence Teens FAQ:
  • How can I help my teen who is abusing his girlfriend?
  • How common is dating violence among teens?
  • Where can a teen or parent call for help?
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