Part 2 in a series
Domestic violence knows no economical or age boundaries. It is not a "poor man's crime" nor is it a "rich man's."

Domestic abuse happens on a daily basis to people who are singled, married or divorced.

The key finding in a poll conducted in 2009 by showed that American teens from across the country are experiencing high levels of abuse in their dating relationships, and the economy appears to have made it worse.

Of those taking part in the survey, nearly half were in families where economic problems existed and they had witnessed their parents abusing one another.

Nearly half of all teens whose families have experienced economic problems in the past year report having witnessed their parents abusing each other. These same teens reported a higher incidence of abuse in their own dating relationships.

Most abused teens are not informing parents of the abuse and, even when they do, are staying in abusive relationships.

The survey was among 1,233 teens ages 13 through 18 from across the country.

Dating abuse is domestic abuse, which is a vicious cycle, as female teenagers see abuse happen to their mother and feel that it is normal and teenage boys see abuse happen and think it is the acceptable behavior.

According to statical information gathered by, one in three students report experiencing some form of abuse, and over half never report that abuse to an adult.

The effect of dating violence spills over into every aspect of teen victims. They pay less attention to academics and have an increased exposure to drugs and alcohol. In those abused, there is a greater likelihood of teen pregnancy and sexual assault.

The 10 most common warning signs of abuse are when a boy/girl friend:

• Checks your cell phone or email without permission.

• Constantly puts you down.

• Is extremely jealousy or insecure.

• Has an explosive temper.

• Isolates you from family or friends.

• Begins making false accusations against you.

• Has mood swings.

• Physically hurt you in any way.

• Is overly possessive.

• Tells you what to do.

A blind survey regarding dating abuse is being conducted in Morehouse Parish of high school students, with the results to be published in Thursday's edition of the Enterprise.


10 Teen Dating Abuse Facts

Physical and sexual abuse is the most often talked about piece of dating abuse.

• 1 in 5 teens that have been in a serious relationship report being hit, slapped, or pushed by a partner

• 1 in 3 teenagers report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, kicked, slapped, choked or physically hurt by their partner

• 1 in 4 teenage girls who have been in relationships reveal they have been pressured to perform oral sex or engage in intercourse

But dating abuse doesn’t have to be physical. It can include verbal and emotional abuse and controlling behaviors.

• More than 1 in 4 teenage girls in a relationship report enduring repeated verbal abuse

• One-third or more of teens who have been in a relationship have been with a partner who frequently asked where they were and whom they were with

• 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

• Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend had threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a break-up

As technologies like cell phones and social networking become the norm for communication, they can also be used to abuse and control.

• One in three teens (30 percent) say they are text messaged 10, 20, or 30 times an hour by a partner inquiring where they are, what they’re doing, or who they’re with

• 68 percent of teens say boyfriends/girlfriends sharing private or embarrassing pictures/videos on cell phones and computers is a serious problem

• 71 percent of teens regard boyfriends/girlfriends spreading rumors about them on cell phones and social networking sites as a serious problem

Teenage Research Unlimited ( Technology & Teen Dating Abuse Survey, 2007