In a survey featuring more than 660 participants across the country, teens opened up about topics including relationships and dating abuse. Conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, the 2014 National Survey on Teen Relationships and Intimate Violence found some pretty shocking results.
Surprisingly, nearly 20 percent of teens (ages 12-18) reported themselves as victims of physical and sexual abuse in relationships. When it came to psychological abuse, ranging from name-calling to stalking, more than 60 percent of teens of both genders reported being victims and perpetrators of this behavior.
As far as the psychological abuse, this could include everything from insults to accusations of flirting. While these may be more common, that doesn’t mean they should be tolerated or acceptable. One of the lead researchers, Elizabeth Mumford, says:
None of these things are healthy interactions. It’s almost more of a concern that our gut reaction is to accept this as natural.
Another aspect of the survey worth noting is that there were similar rates of abuse victimization and perpetration between both genders. This is a contrast from previous studies that found girls were more likely to be victims than boys. This survey truly shows why it’s important to address dating abuse and its dangers to all teens, regardless of gender.
For more about this topic, be sure to check out “The Dark Side of Dating” story from the February 2014 issue of Choices magazine. Choices is a teen health, well-being, and life skills resource for middle and high school students.
Click the image below to read “The Dark Side of Dating” as a PDF!