Why Teenage Victims of Dating Violence Can’t Break the Cycle
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.
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. There is also evidence that adolescents who experience violence in early relationships are more vulnerable to being abused again, and indeed the latest study on the issue published in the journal Pediatrics shows that teens who experienced aggression from a romantic partner between the ages of 12 and 18 were up to three times as likely to be revictimized in relationships as young adults.
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. They also inquired about actual physical violence — if they had been pushed or shoved or had something thrown at them.