It’s important to identify and tackle teen dating violence because such behaviors very often transform into domestic violence in adulthood.
According to a University Of Michigan Medical School survey involving more than 4000 adults between the ages of 14 and 20, dating violence is very common in this population, and also affects both genders. Approximately one in six young people reported that they had experienced some form of violence as teenagers. Those acts of violence included punching, kicking, and throwing things at the other person.
The surveyors found an interesting profile of the typical aggressor or victim in such cases. Persons, who suffered from depression, or had a drug or alcohol use history, seemed to have a much higher likelihood of being a victim of dating violence or the aggressor in these cases.
Researchers believe that it is important for health care providers to screen for dating violence when they come across young men and women. This is important because data suggests that dating violence in the teen years could actually evolve into more dangerous intimate partner violence in adulthood. When people think about domestic violence, they don't necessarily think about teenagers, but such behaviors could increase the risk of similar patterns in adulthood.
Dating violence seems to be much more common among women. One in five young women reported being the victim of dating violence over the past year, while the rate among men was one in 8 men. Such dating violence also seemed to increase the incidence of self-harm or suicide attempts among female teenagers. Teenagers who were rushed to emergency departments with unintentional injury had twice the chance of being involved in a violent situation, or experiencing violence in a dating relationship.