A recent survey reveals some disturbing findings about teenage dating: teens ages 14 to 17 are experiencing dating violence and parents are almost completely oblivious to the problem. The national survey of 477 teens ages 14-17 and 456 parents of teens with at least one child in the same age group was conducted from in December 2000 and was commissioned by the Empower Program and sponsored by CAEPV member Liz Claiborne Inc,
The survey found that:
- Nearly one-quarter of teenagers (24%) know at least one student at their school who was physically struck by a person they were dating.
- Among this group, 11% know multiple victims of dating violence, and
- 30% of these have actually witnessed such an event.
The survey also examined the other social impacts of teen dating violence, including social control. Findings included:
- 27% know students in relationships where one member of the couple separates the other from their group of friends
- 22% know students who are dating someone who frequently requires them to “check in,” and
- One in ten knows someone in a dating situation where one member of the couple tells the other what clothes they can wear.
These findings are even more troubling given that while parents have some awareness of other teen behaviors like verbal insults and attempts at intimidation, only 8% of parents know of any students at their child's school who have been physically struck by someone they were dating.
"The results of our survey provide the evidence as well as a call-to-action that dating violence needs more attention in order to ensure the safety of our youth," said Jane Randel, director of corporate communications at Liz Claiborne Inc. "Parents, teachers and school administrators need to recognize that they have the ability to end relationship violence for future generations by communicating with teens now."
Last year, Liz Claiborne created a free educational handbook for teens entitled, "What You Need to Know About Dating Violence: A Teen's Handbook." The handbook and an interactive quiz are also available at www.loveisnotabuse.com.