Dating violence is controlling, abusive and aggressive behavior in a romantic relationship. It can include verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, or a combination of them. Both boys and girls are victims but boys and girls abuse their partners in different ways.Girls are more likely to yell, threaten to hurt themselves, pinch, slap, scratch, or kick.According to the Centers for Disease Control, 9.4% of teens in a recent survey reported being physically abused by a romantic partner in the past 12 months — that included being slapped, hit or intentionally injured.
They also inquired about actual physical violence — if they had been pushed or shoved or had something thrown at them.Five years later, that same group was questioned about health behaviors — things like suicidal thoughts, self-esteem, sexually risky behavior, depression, smoking and drug use — as well as if they had been the recipient of aggressive behavior by their partner in the past year.(MORE: How Teen Rejection Can Lead to Chronic Disease Later in Life) Researchers from Cornell University tracked nearly 6,000 kids between the ages of 12 and 18 who were in heterosexual relationships, asking them about their experiences with dating violence.Specifically, they wanted to know if the children had dating partners who had sworn at them, insulted them or treated them disrespectfully in public.
For teens, dating is about more than just finding a boyfriend or girlfriend.
It’s a critical part of adolescent development, but with reports of increased violence occurring within relationships, there is growing concern about how that early experience with dating aggression can impact young-adult relationships.