Dating Violence:
Abuse Information For The Parents Of Teens

Author: gentle^spirit © 2004
Christians and BDSM Web Site

This article is copyrighted to the stated author(s) and can not be reproduced, copied, reprinted, or posted without the consent of the author. It is used here with permission of the author.



“Not my daughter!” “He seemed like such a nice boy.” “But he comes from a nice family!” Some people mistakenly think that domestic abuse is just a problem in the adult world. Sad fact is 1 in 8 teenage girls will be victims of abuse from someone other than a family member before they graduate from high school. Even sadder is the number of girls that fall victim to abuse from members of their own family. Factor in domestic violence, date rape and abuse and/or rape of family members put the numbers more at 1 in 4!

Past estimates of physical and sexual dating violence among high school students typically range from 10% to 25%, and estimates for college students range from 20 to 30%. (1)

To help you get your mind around this number and make the statistics real, just imagine yourself at the mall on a Saturday afternoon. You are sitting there sipping a mocha latté watching the people go by. It takes 15 minutes for you to finish the latté. During this quarter hour you see 100 teenage girls go by. One fourth of them, that’s 25 girls, will experience some type of violence or abuse before their 20th birthday.

You may ask: How can this be? There are two main reasons for this. Lack of education and fear. The startling fact is that most girls have never been taught about what forms abuse may take. Programs are in place in many schools that teach young children about ‘stranger danger’ or inappropriate touching. Rape Crisis centers are beginning to reach out to the middle and high schools with ‘No! Means NO!’ Programs that endeavor to address the topic of date rape. Unfortunately very few schools have programs that address dating violence.

So we have generation after generation of young women who are not educated on the types and forms of abusive relationships. And most of the victims live with the silence and fear because they may have be threatened against telling. They mistakenly think it is their fault, they think it has never happened to anyone else and sadly, they may think that is the way relationships are supposed to be.

In the April 2003 report by the National Institute of Justice on Youth Victimization
86% of sexual assaults against minors went unreported.
74% of adolescents who experienced sexual assault reported that someone they knew well committed the assault.
27.5% of girls and 34.4% of boys that had been sexually assaulted demonstrated substance abuse or dependence at some point during their lifetime. Among non abused teens the rates were 5.4% and 9% (non-victims: 9% of the girls and 5.4% of the boys)
30.5% of adolescents who experienced sexual assault reported that it occurred at their home.
15.4% of adolescents who experienced sexual assault reported that it occurred at their school.

(1) Wekerle, C. & Wolfe, D. A. (1999). Dating violence in mid-adolescence: Theory, significance, and emerging prevention initiatives. Clinical Psychology Review, 19(4), 435-456.

Note: This article is not comprehensive. Your particular situation may be somewhat different. If you feel your child is being abused, seek professional counseling. Nothing on this list should be considered a substitute for counseling.

If you feel you are in an abusive relationship, get help now!
You can take the first step by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) (TDD 1-800-787-3224) or go to .






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