Public Awareness

Teen Dating Violence

Fact Sheet


Domestic Violence in New York State

Approximately 450,000 domestic incidents are reported to police departments in New York State annually.1 Since national estimates suggest that only about half of all non-fatal violent crimes are reported to the police, it is very possible that the actual number of domestic incidents that occur in New York State each year is double this number.2

Scope of Teen Dating Violence

How serious is the problem of teen dating violence?

[Unless otherwise noted, the following data in this section are from a Liz Claiborne, Inc. study on teen dating abuse conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, March 2006]:
  • Half of teens (50%) reported they’ve been in a dating relationship and nearly a third (32%) said they’ve been in a serious relationship.
  • 1 in 3 teenagers in a serious relationship reported that they’ve been concerned about being hurt physically by a boyfriend or girlfriend. One out of five of these teens say they have actually been hit, slapped, or pushed by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Almost one-third of girls who have been in a relationship (29%) said they’ve been pressured to have sex or to engage in sexual acts when they didn’t want to do so.
  • Nearly one out of four (23%) reported they’ve gone further sexually in a relationship than they wanted.
  • 1 in 4 teens who have been in a serious relationship say their boyfriend or girlfriend has tried to prevent them from spending time with friends or family; the same number have been pressured to only spend time with their partner.
  • More than one-fourth of teens (27%) who have been in a relationship said they’ve had a partner call them names or put them down.
  • Twenty-four percent of 14 to 17-year-olds know at least one student who has been the victim of dating violence, yet 81% of parents either believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don't know if it is an issue.3
  • 80% of teens view verbal abuse as a serious issue for their age group.4
  • 10.6% of teen-age girls in NYC reported physical dating violence. This is almost a 50% increase since 1999 when an estimated 7.1% reported physical violence in a dating relationship.5
  • Nearly 80% of females reported experiencing at least one incident of physical or sexual aggression by the end of college.6
  • 49% of males (high school to 4th year in college) report using at least one incident of physical or sexual violence against an intimate partner.7
  • Tweens – Ages 11 to 14
    • 62% say that they know friends that have been verbally abused.
    • 24% say that physical abuse is a serious problem for their age group.

Teen Dating Violence and Technology

Technology has made teen dating abuse more pervasive and hidden. According to a recent study [Liz Claiborne, Inc. study, “Tech Abuse in Teen Relationships Study,” conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, January 2007]:

  • An alarming one in ten (10%) claim they have been threatened physically via email, IM, text, chat, etc.
  • One in three teens who have been in a relationship (30%) say they’ve been text messaged 10, 20, or 30 times an hour by a partner finding out where they are, what they’re doing, or who they’re with.
  • Nearly one in five teens in a relationship (19%) say that their partner has used a cell phone or the internet to spread rumors about them.
  • Nearly one in five (18%) say their partner used a networking site to harass or put them down.
  • One in six teens in a relationship (16%) claim their partner has actually bought a cell phone or minutes for them.

  1. DCJS Domestic Incident Report Data, 2001-2002.
  2. Family Violence Statistics, DOJ/BJS, June 2005.
  3. Survey commissioned by the Empower Program, sponsored by Liz Claiborne Inc. and conducted by Knowledge Networks, Social Control, Verbal Abuse, and Violence Among Teenagers, December 2000.
  4. Liz Claiborne Inc. study on teen dating abuse conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, February 2005.
  5. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. “Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in New York City.” 2008.
  6. White, Jacquelyn and Paige Hall Smith. “Covariation in the Use of Physical and Sexual Intimate Partner Aggression Among Adolescent and College-Age Men: A Longitudinal Analysis.” Violence Against Women. 2009.
  7. Ibid