Abuse in High School Dating Relationships Common

First of all, I’d like to apologize for my long hiatus from my blog. As some of you may be aware, I am also a teacher, and in the United States a new school year has just begun.  I’ve been preoccupied all that goes with it –  writing curriculum, attending staff meetings, and getting things off to a good start with my new students. I’m hopeful my life will return to “normal”  in the next couple of weeks, whatever that means…

As I was finishing the final revision of While Seeking Dragonflies last summer, I came across these disturbing statistics:

One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.

Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average.

And then these shocking facts:

Only 33% of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse.

Eighty-one percent of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue.

I find the last ones very troubling. Are parents really so out of touch with their teenagers or are they in denial? (I suspect it is the latter.) What is it about dating abuse that causes parents to stick their heads in the sand? And why are teens so reluctant to come forward for help?

There’s no doubt that dating abuse is a complicated issue; however, it’s clear we need to do a better job as a society of educating our teens, so they feel more comfortable seeking help. To that end, I want to share this link to the Love Is Respect website:

http://www.loveisrespect.org/

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