As any parent knows, it can be difficult to communicate with your teen, especially when it comes to a sensitive topic like dating violence.
Perhaps you’re not quite sure what to say, or maybe your teen doesn’t seem to want to talk.
This is also an important topic from a gender studies perspective as almost 32% of male adolescents engage in some form of violence, whether sexual, physical or emotional, towards their partners while adolescent violence from females is nearly half of that rate.The literature on IPV among adolescents indicates that the rates are similar for the number of girls and boys in heterosexual relationships who report experiencing IPV, or that girls in heterosexual relationships are more likely than their male counterparts to report perpetrating IPV. stated that, unlike domestic violence in general, equal rates of IPV perpetration is a unique characteristic with regard adolescent dating violence, and that this is "perhaps because the period of adolescence, a special developmental state, is accompanied by sexual characteristics that are distinctly different from the characteristics of adult." Wekerle and Wolfe theorized that "a mutually coercive and violent dynamic may form during adolescence, a time when males and females are more equal on a physical level" and that this "physical equality allows girls to assert more power through physical violence than is possible for an adult female attacked by a fully physically mature man." Regarding studies that indicate that girls are as likely or more likely than boys to commit IPV, the authors emphasize that substantial differences exist between the genders, including that girls are significantly more likely than boys to report having experienced severe IPV, such as being threatened with a weapon, punched, strangled, beaten, burned, or raped, and are also substantially more likely than boys to need psychological help or experience physical injuries that require medical help for the abuse, and to report sexual violence as a part of dating violence.They are also more likely to take IPV more seriously.Sexual violence in dating relationships is also a major concern.A survey of adolescent and college students revealed that date rape accounted for 67% of sexual assaults and 60% of rapes take place in the victim's home or in that of a friend or relative. Click here to access information about teen dating violence and action steps for youth who are interested in engaging in teen dating violence prevention activities in their community.The site also features information and resources for adults regarding how to initiate conversations with youth about healthy relationships.Share them with your teen and look at them together, or simply pass them on.Dating violence is violence that occurs within a dating relationship rather than, say, marriage; and dating violence is as much a problem for teenagers as it is for adults.Do you know where to go for help if you suspect a teen is in an abusive relationship?KNOW MORE about the National Dating Abuse Helpline READ MORE about what you can do if you think you are in an abusive relationship SAY NO MORE to teen dating abuse Check out our Teen Dating Violence Booklet for teens, parents and anyone working or coming in contact with teens and/or their parents.