Most of the practitioners in attendance — representing national organizations, schools and victim service community-based agencies — said that they primarily see female victims, and when they discuss teen dating violence with students, they hear that boys are the primary perpetrators. Because teen dating violence has only recently been recognized as a significant public health problem, the complex nature of this phenomenon is not fully understood.
Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime.
Teens often think some behaviors, like teasing and name-calling, are a “normal” part of a relationship.
One NIJ-funded study examined the prevalence of dating violence among 5,647 teens (51.8 percent female, 74.6 percent Caucasian) from 10 middle schools and high schools (representing grades 7-12) throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. "Partner Violence Among Adolescents in Opposite-Sex Romantic Relationships: Findings from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health." 91 (October 2001): 1679-1685.
Findings indicated that within the past year: The study also specifically examined dating violence rates among teens who had dated within the past year (66 percent of total teens; n = 3,745).
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In 2001-2005, Peggy Giordano and her colleagues at Bowling Green State University interviewed more than 1,300 seventh, ninth and 11th graders in Toledo, Ohio. Wood, "The Emotions of Romantic Relationships: Do They Wreak Havoc on Adolescents?
[ Giordano is one of the authors of this article.] More than half of the girls in physically aggressive relationships said both they and their dating partner committed aggressive acts during the relationship.
About a third of the girls said they were the sole perpetrators, and 13 percent reported that they were the sole victims. Yonas, "The Meaning of Dating Violence in the Lives of Middle School Adolescents: A Report of a Focus Group Study," 4 (1998): 180-194.