The Real, Long Term Impact of Teen Dating Violence
Is Teen Dating Violence Really an Issue?
Our answer is yes, but for many others, there remains a misconception that dating violence doesn’t affect teens. On the contrary, data shows that 1 in 3 teens report experiencing at least one form of abuse in a dating relationship. Far more concerning however, is that the CDC’s annual Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that 1 in 10 teens reported being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend within the 12 months before taking the survey.
Teen dating violence takes on many forms. If incidents of abuse are unaddressed, there are both immediate, temporary consequences, as well as long-term and permanent ones causing serious health and safety risks.
A study conducted by Pediatrics surveyed nearly 6,000 12 to 18-year-old adolescents with dating experience. Five years later, researchers followed up with the same participants and found staggering long-term consequences as a result of abuse in their teen dating relationships. According to the study, females who had been victims of teen dating violence reported “heavy episodic drinking, depressive symptomatology, suicidal ideation, smoking, and intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization.” Similarly, male participants who had been victims of TDV reported “increased antisocial behaviors, suicidal ideation, marijuana use, and IPV victimization.”
Though scars may not be visible, the impact of teen dating violence remains and creates long-term public health concerns that can’t afford to be left unaddressed.
Education and awareness are a start to reducing abuse, however garnering quick responses from adults often remains a challenge. In fact, despite all of the data, a 2012 study by Pediatrics found that schools did cite teen dating violence as a high-priority issue and that few schools had resources or training for staff to effectively address the issue.
For these reasons, the District Attorney’s Office is committed to efforts aimed at reducing teen dating violence year-round. The office provides presentations and guest speakers, trainings for teachers, resources for guidance counselors, advising sessions with students who wish to implement school-wide efforts. Additionally, the District Attorney’s Office aids those who wish to implement the White Ribbon Campaign in their schools. The White Ribbon Campaign engages male students as allies in the efforts to eliminate violence against women.
“Longitudinal Associations Between Teen Dating Violence Victimization and Adverse Health Outcomes ,” a 2012 study published in Pediatrics
“Adolescent Dating Violence: A National Assessment of School Counselors’ Perceptions and Practices ,” a 2012 study published in Pediatrics