A new survey finds that teen dating violence rates are higher than ever, with the economic crisis apparently worsening rates of abuse of between parents and among teens, reports Women’s eNews. School budget cuts are hindering education programs focused on preventing dating violence. The survey by Liz Claiborne Inc. and Family Violence Prevention Fund found that nearly half (44 percent) of teens whose families have experienced economic problems in the past year have witnessed verbal or physical abuse between their parents, and 67 percent of those teens have experienced abuse in their own relationships.
Nearly 1 in 3 teens (29 percent) reported sexual or physical abuse or threats of such abuse in dating relationships and nearly half (47 percent) reported experiencing controlling behavior from a boyfriend or girlfriend. The survey found that almost two-thirds of parents whose teens have been in dating relationships believe their children have never experienced abuse, despite numbers that suggest higher rates. Most parents are not talking to their children about teen dating violence, with 80 percent of teens turning to friends for help. Only 25 percent of teens reported taking a course on teen dating violence in school.