ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — About 33 percent of adolescents in the United States are victims of sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional dating abuse. But how do these tumultuous relationships affect teens later in their lives?
About one in every three young people will be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship. Now, a new study shows that dating violence might impact your health in unexpected ways.
Researchers asked 585 college-aged students to take an online survey. Results showed that girls who experienced sexual or physical dating violence from ages 13 to 19 were more likely to smoke, have symptoms of depression, have an eating disorder, and have more sexual partners. Boys and girls who experienced non-physical dating violence, such as verbal abuse over text message, were more likely to smoke and have eating disorders.
Recognizing abuse can be tricky. Some warning signs: your teen always apologizes for their partner’s behavior, they lose interest in activities they used to enjoy, they become more isolated, their partner has a temper or acts very jealous and controlling, or they have unexplained injuries. Get involved and get help if you’re worried. Remember, the effects may last a lifetime.
If you’re concerned that your child is in an abusive relationship, you can contact the National Dating Abuse Hotline for help. The number is 866-331-9474.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Julie Marks, Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, News Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.
Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.