Monday, June 6, 2011
Statistics Worthy of Consideration
A 2008 study commissioned by Liz Claiborne and loveisrespect.org found:
69 percent of all teens who had sex by age 14 said they have gone through one or more types of abuse in a relationship.
40 percent of the youngest tweens, those between the ages of 11 and 12, report that their friends are victims of verbal abuse in relationships, and nearly one-in-ten (9 percent) say their friends have had sex.
Nearly three-in-four tweens (72 percent) say boyfriend/girlfriend relationships usually begin at age 14 or younger.
More than one-in-three 11-12 year olds (37percent) say they have been in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.
One-in-five between the ages of 13 and 14 say their friends are victims of dating violence, such as getting struck, hit or slapped by a boyfriend or girlfriend, and nearly half of all tweens in relationships say they know friends who are verbally abused.
One-in-five 13-14 year olds in relationships (20 percent) say they know friends and peers who've been struck in anger (kicked, hit, slapped, or punched) by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Only half of all tweens (51 percent) claim to know the warning signs of a bad/hurtful relationship.
In addition, significant numbers of teens (15-18) are experiencing emotional and mental abuse as well as violence when dating; it's even more prevalent among teens that have had sex by 14.
Because this study was done in 2008, it is safe to say that these numbers may have changed. In my experience, I have reason to believe that these numbers have increased and had a negative impact on the overall health of our teen’s relationships. Teenagers are forming their habits and future relationship trends during junior high and high school. These relationship patterns will have staying power. What teens learn about relationships will carry into their twenties and thirties. By then the patterns will become established. Do we want our teens to grow up and believe that all relationships have an element of acceptable violence in them just because that’s all they learned or were exposed to? Do we want to have our teens build their foundations to relationships around negativity because that is what they learned from their peers and they didn’t know any better?
My answer to these questions is no! A resounding, loud, and emphatic NO! Learn the signs of teen dating violence. Teach your teens about healthy relationships. Teach your teens about self-worth. If you have questions about what a healthy teen relationship should look like then contact me. If you have questions about what an unhealthy relationship looks like, then contact me. Together we can teach and learn about what we want out of a friendship, romantic partner, and future relationship. We need to take the steps toward ending teen dating violence because that will help end domestic violence.