Did you know that one in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence? Throughout the month of February, AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse) alongside advocates and educators from across the country has focused on the risk factors associated with teen dating violence and what can be done to prevent it — for Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month.

According to a national survey conducted by the University of New Hampshire Crimes Against Children Research Center, teen victims of dating violence are overwhelmingly more likely to have been victims of other forms of violence, such as sexual violence and child abuse. Cyberbullying also was linked to teen dating violence. Youth who had been cyberbullied were three to four times more likely to be teen dating violence victims than other youth.

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One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend. Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.

Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average.

College students are not equipped to deal with dating abuse – 57% say it is difficult to identify, and 58% say they don’t know how to help someone who’s experiencing it.

One in three (36%) dating college students has given a dating partner their computer, online access, email or social network passwords, and these students are more likely to experience digital dating abuse.

Nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors while one in six (16%) college women has been sexually abused in a dating relationship.

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