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Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

Survey Reveals Teen Dating Abuse Is Pervasive

*The following is excerpted from an online article from SFGate.

From violence to verbal taunts, abusive dating behavior is pervasive among America's adolescents, according to a new, federally funded survey. It says a majority of boys and girls who date describe themselves as both victims and perpetrators.

Sponsored by the National Institute of Justice, the National Survey on Teen Relationships and Intimate Violence was conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, a prominent research center. Input came from a nationwide sample of 667 youths aged 12-18 who'd been dating within the past year and who completed a self-administered online questionnaire.

Nearly 20 percent of both boys and girls reported themselves as victims of physical and sexual abuse in dating relationships — but the researchers reported what they called a startling finding when they asked about psychological abuse, broadly defined as actions ranging from name-calling to excessive tracking of a victim. More than 60 percent of each gender reported being victims and perpetrators of such behavior.

The survey found no substantive differences in measures by ethnicity, family income or geographic location.

Using a definition under which adolescent relationship abuse can occur in person or through electronic means, in public or private, and between current or past dating partners , the survey estimates that 25 million U.S. adolescents are victims and nearly 23 million are perpetrators.

The survey found fairly similar rates of victimization and perpetration among boys and girls — even in the sub-categories of physical abuse and sexual abuse. Many previous studies have found that girls are markedly more likely to be victims of physical and sexual dating abuse than boys.

Source: SFGate