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Teens Get Back-to-School Lessons on Dating Violence

August 04, 2011

Text messages and cell phone cameras are common means of communication for teenagers. Unfortunately, abusers can use these technologies to harass or intimidate a vulnerable teen when a relationship goes bad. To help prevent dating violence before it occurs, the Verizon Wireless Teen Technology Panel brought Hubbard House, Florida’s Statewide Youth Advisory Board, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s Family Violence Unit, and teenagers from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida together to start a conversation about this often taboo subject.

This panel, held Wednesday, August 3, at the NFL Youth Education Town Center, discussed trends among teenagers and technology such as sexting, bullying, harassment and stalking. Given that one in three high school students has been or will be in an abusive relationship, the goal of this program is to open a dialogue among teens and experts about the warning signs of abusive dating relationships and explore how technology can be used to promote healthy, positive relationships.

Teen Tech Panel

Teen Tech Panel 2

• One in three teens report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, kicked, slapped, choked or otherwise physically hurt by his or her partner
• About one in 11 teens reports being a victim of physical dating abuse each year
• About one in five high school girls has been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner
• About 80 percent of teens regard verbal abuse as a serious issue for their age group
• Nearly 80 percent of girls who have been physically abused in their dating relationships continue to date their abuser
• Nearly one in five teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend had threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup
• Almost 70 percent of young women who have been raped knew their rapist either as a boyfriend, friend or casual acquaintance

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Choose Respect Initiative 2006.