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According to national research, 1 out of 3 teens report knowing friends or peers who have experienced dating abuse.
Worse, the Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey finds that 1 in 10 teens report being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.
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Alarmingly, research indicates that only 33% of teens in abusive relationships have reported their experiences to anyone.
Of those teen survivors, 3% of teens in abusive relationships reported the abuse to authority figures and 6% told family members. Studies show that teens experiencing abuse are more likely to smoke or use drugs, take diet pills/laxatives, engage in risky sexual behaviors, and attempt or consider suicide. Teens experiencing abuse are usually silent about their experience; often, teens blame themselves or normalize abusive behaviors as typical.
However, these behaviors can become abusive and develop into more serious forms of violence.
Teen dating violence [PDF 187KB] is defined as the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence within a dating relationship, including stalking. Teen dating violence (physical and sexual) among US high school students: Findings from the 2013 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey. As teens develop emotionally, they are heavily influenced by experiences in their relationships.
There are specific warning signs that may indicate your teen is in an abusive relationship.