One study reports that 25% of 8 graders say they’ve been victims of dating violence. While any amount of abuse is too much and worthy of our attention, the fact that this many students engage in abusive relationships at such a young age should serve as a warning sign that teen dating violence is a serious issue, and we can’t ignore it.
Singer Rihanna’s abuse by boyfriend Chris Brown is just one example as then 19-year-old Rihanna made her history of physical abuse at the hands of Chris Brown known to the world. In most cases it starts much earlier before it develops into full-fledged violence, and in some tragic instances, death.
A 16-year-old verbally abusing and emotionally controlling his girlfriend after class might make for a less dramatic mental image than our glamorous celebrity examples, but it doesn’t deserve our attention any less.
This is particularly important for preteens who see intimate partner violence at home.
They have a greater risk of becoming involved in an abusive act and traumatized in their own relationships, according to the AAP.
Approximately 25 percent of teens report experiencing TDV annually (Noonan & Charles, 2009).