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“Our schools need to be safe havens for all students, and it is critical that we provide school leaders with tools and resources to help them become stronger partners in reducing teen dating violence and other forms of gender-based violence…
But he says the details behind the gender findings in various studies are important.
When girls are the aggressors, he says, "it tends to be low-level behaviors, light hitting, name calling, things like that.
That study followed 625 youths from middle school to high school and found that those who admitted verbally bullying peers as middle-schoolers were seven times more likely than other young people to report physically abusing their dates four years later.
Both behaviors are often "about establishing dominance," she says.
In his own survey of 1,525 Latino youths ages 12 to 18, Cuevas says he found that boys with the strong family support "typical in traditional Latino culture" were less likely to psychologically abuse dates.The dating line, which offers 24-hour help by online chat (at loveisrespect.org), text (text "loveis" to 22522) or phone (1-866-331-9474), is aimed at young people of both genders.But abused girls may be more willing to seek help, Jones says: "There's a lot of stigma about boys and men reaching out when they are victims."The new survey results are in the line with some other findings, says Carlos Cuevas, a researcher from Northeastern University-Boston, who is presenting new data on dating violence among Latino youth at the conference.Further, teenage victims of dating violence are more likely than their non-abused peers to smoke, use drugs, engage in unhealthy dieting (e.g., taking diet pills or laxatives, vomiting to lose weight), engage in risky sexual behaviors, and attempt or consider suicide. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A 2009 study of sixth-grade students found that 25% thought it was acceptable for boys to hit their girlfriends. In general, data presented at a conference are not considered as authoritative as results reviewed by outside experts and then published.The survey findings stand in stark contrast to one other set of statistics: In 2012, 94% of abuse victims who contacted the National Dating Abuse Helpline were female and just 6% were male, says Katie Ray Jones, president of the dating abuse helpline and the National Domestic Abuse Hotline.These findings, to be presented today in Honolulu at a meeting of the American Psychological Association, are the latest to shed light on a problem that has only come out of the shadows in recent years.Researchers and educators eager to stop violent patterns early — and reduce abuse not only among teens but among the adults they will become — already are testing programs that teach younger children and teens how to have healthier relationships.Teens, like adults, sometimes have trouble recognizing that they are in an abusive relationship, experts say.Welcome to Do Something.org, a global movement of 5.5 million young people making positive change, online and off!