Adolescent dating violence is associated with increased rates of eating disorders, substance abuse, depression, sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy, and continued perpetration and victimization, yet many physicians are unfamiliar with this term.13 Adolescent dating violence is defined as physical, sexual, or psychological violence within an adolescent dating relationship,4 which manifests as, but is not limited to, threatening partners with physical harm; humiliation; controlling behaviors; or threatening to reveal sexual activity, sexual orientation, or gender identity of the victim to others.46Adolescent dating violence is increasingly identified as a major public health problem, but there is limited evidence to support routine screening by physicians. As with adult relationship violence, adolescent dating violence occurs in all social classes, locations, and ethnic and racial groups.4 Studies demonstrate that up to 30 percent of adolescents have been threatened or physically or sexually abused by a dating partner, with young women disproportionately affected by these types of violence.
Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend for or against screening for family and intimate partner violence, but it is important to note that this recommendation does not specifically recognize adolescent dating relationships or adolescent dating violence.7 The American Academy of Family Physicians policy statement on adolescent care states, “In meeting our ethical obligations to our adolescent patients…we rely on our professional judgment, informed by clinical assessment, training, and experience, to address a patient's health conditions or a sensitive situation.”8 Thus, even in the absence of outcomes evidence, family physicians should be prepared to support adolescents in their development of healthy relationships, be able to identify those who are experiencing dating violence, and educate adolescents and parents about this issue.
I was only 21, straight out of college and had just had my heart broken by another girl I’d been dating for three years.
‘Between one third and 40 per cent of domestic abuse cases are female perpetrator and male victim, and it’s a sad fact that this isn’t generally known.’I certainly never suspected it would happen to me when I married Lisa just six months after meeting her.
Suspected abuse of adolescents by their guardians and all forms of sexual assault are reportable in every state, but the definition of consensual adolescent sexual activity varies by state. Adolescents, protecting: ensuring access to care and reporting sexual activity and abuse (position paper). This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP.
In an abusive relationship one partner is afraid of or intimidated by the other. Encourage your friend to confide in a trusted adult.
Dating violence crosses all socio-economic, ethnic, cultural, and religious lines. Offer to go with your friend for professional help.
Compared with heterosexuals and controlling for age, bisexual males had greater odds of reporting any type of abuse, and bisexual females had greater odds of experiencing sexual abuse.
Controlling for age, lesbians had greater odds of being scared about their safety, compared with heterosexual females, and bisexuals were more likely to be threatened with outing, compared with gay males/lesbians.