Prevalence In recent years, more and more researchers, health practitioners, and youth service providers have become aware of the problem of teen dating and sexual violence. In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that nationally one in 11 adolescents has experienced physical abuse.
CDC also cited a 2001 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association stating that one in five high school girls have been sexually abused by a dating partner.
Research shows that teen girls are not as likely to be as abusive as teen boys.
Teen boys are far more likely to initiate violence and teen girls are more likely to be violent in a case of self-defense.
Dating Matters was developed as a comprehensive public health approach to the primary prevention of teen dating violence.
The specific focus of Dating Matters on 11-14 year old youth in high risk urban communities was developed to stop dating violence before it begins.
This form of violence can include verbal abuse, written materials, use of weapons, the destruction of property, stalking, and other forms of intimidation.