High school dating violence statistics

Inappropriate physical and sexual behavior gets plenty of media coverage when it occurs on and around college campuses or in the lives of politicians, but less so when it happens at the high school level.

Yet abuse affects 1 out of every five female and one out of every 10 male high school students who date.

These are the feelings that lead to psychological disorders and behavior such as substance abuse, cutting, eating disorders, and sexual rigidity.

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The immediate scenario that pops into your head is likely not a teen or pre-teen couple.

But unfortunately, teen dating violence is reality for 1.5 million high school students across the US every year who experience some form of dating violence from a boyfriend or girlfriend.

They were most likely to speak up or otherwise get involved when they saw a friend’s boyfriend or girlfriend behaving in a jealous or controlling manner, when they heard comments such as “she deserved to be raped,” or when they believed their friend was being abused or was in a potentially dangerous situation.

Fewer students were likely to express concern or disapproval over sexual jokes, comments, and gestures.

Friends, family, educators, and others who are involved with teens need to recognize that these behaviors are not only the possible result of teenage abuse, they are warning signs; they are cries for help.

For more information on teenage sexual abuse prevention, intervention, and support, check out the resources at U. Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender Public site.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines dating aggression as physical, sexual, or psychological hostility or attacks that occur between current or past dating partners, and can even be extended to stalking and other forms of harassment.

Sexual aggression is any form of unwanted or sexual behavior, from nonconsensual contact to oral, vaginal or anal rape.

A study published in the May 2015 issue of JAMA Pediatrics found that, among high school students who dated, more than 20 percent of female students and more than 10 percent of male students experienced some form of physical or sexual dating violence sometime during the year prior to the study reporting.

For victims of abuse, the effects of these types of violent actions, often long-lasting, can include depression and anxiety disorders, substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior, and even suicide attempts.

“Dating abuse at any age is a significant form of trauma,” Monroe points out.

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