The One Safety Talk to Have With Your Daughter Right Now

young woman protecting herself

New research from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention shows that dating violence and abuse is a problem among teen girls and boys alike. The latest study, which was published in JAMA Pediatrics, shows that dating assaults are on the rise and affect a large portion of our teens.


Researchers from the Division of Violence Prevention at the CDC surveyed more than 9,900 high school students from around the country, asked about their dating trends, and found some disturbing news.

In 2013, of the students who admitted that they dated, 21 percent of girls and 10 percent of boys experienced some form of dating violence. That's roughly one in five girls and one in two boys. Girls reported higher numbers of both physical and sexual abuse, but the violence was pervasive between both sexes, and is almost twice as high as experts previously estimated. 

More from The Stir: The New Dating Violence: What Every Parent Should Know

And it starts earlier than we think. The study also shows that dating violence can start as young as 10 or 11, and carries repercussions long through the teenage years.

Researchers have linked dating violence with suicide (teens who are abused are twice as likely to consider taking their own life), online bullying, fighting, increased alcohol consumption, increased marijuana and cocaine use, and the likelihood that teens have multiple sexual partners.

The scariest part of the news is that teens are not likely to talk to their parents. Often times, they don't share the news or seek help, or even know how to put it into words. So the onus is on you, parents.

Have the conversation, define dating violence, and look for the signs. Teaching children to communicate and express their struggles and then taking steps to ensure they're properly aware is just one of the first steps we can take to help eliminate the heartbreaking violence.

Do you talk to your children about dating violence? How did you start the conversation?


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