A recent American study found that more than 30% of teenagers have experienced dating violence from 2011 and 2012. Dating violence was defined as physical, sexual or psychological/emotional violence within a dating relationship.

40% of teenagers reported experiencing some form of violence at the hand of their partners.

More than 30% of teenagers reported perpetrating dating violence.

Approximately 25% of teenagers reported that they have been both victims and perpetrators of dating violence.

Both females and males experience dating violence with females being more likely than males to report being sexually victimized.

Unhealthy sexual and romantic relationships, characterized by physical, sexual and psychological violence are detrimental to the health and wellbeing of teenagers and can set the stage for intimate partner violence into adulthood.

Some signs that teenagers may be experiencing dating violence include suspicious bruises, a drop in school grades and loss of interest in sports/hobbies.

Having a partner three or more years older is also a risk factor for experiencing forced sex.

Protecting teenagers from dating violence requires a thorough understanding of the warning signs of abusive relationships and the promotion of positive and healthy relationship norms.

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