Attorney General Gansler Releases Awareness Quiz
in Recognition of National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Week
MD (February 2, 2009) – In recognition of National
Teen Dating Violence Awareness Week, February 2 – February
6, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler today released a Teen Dating
Violence Awareness Quiz to help teens, parents, and educators recognize
the signs of dating violence and abuse.
While the issue of domestic violence has gained greater recognition
over the last few years, teen dating violence and abuse remains
an issue that often goes unrecognized or not discussed by many
parents and teens. Attorney General Gansler is urging teens, parents,
and educators to take the time to learn how to recognize the signs
of dating violence and abuse so they can help prevent it.
“Studies have shown that dating abuse and violence can
begin at an early age,” said Attorney General Gansler. “It
is important for all of us to be able to recognize the signs of
an abusive relationship and provide help to the victim before the
Teen dating violence is not just physical abuse. Abuse can take
many forms including threats, emotional and sexual abuse, extreme
jealousy, and isolation from friends and family. Almost any tactic
used to control a partner can constitute dating abuse or violence.
According to information from the House of Ruth, one in four teens
will be in an abusive relationship. A 2008 online survey commissioned
by Liz Claiborne, Inc., and loveisrespect.org found the following:
percent of teens who had sex by age 14 reported some type
of abuse in a relationship, with slightly more than one-third
saying they had been physically abused, according to the survey,
conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited;
- About 10 percent
of the teenagers surveyed said they had had sex
by age 14, while 20 percent said they had sex between the
ages of 15 and 16;
- One in five 13-
or 14-year-olds in relationships say they know friends and
peers who have been “struck
in anger” by
a boyfriend or girlfriend. Sixty-two percent have friends
who have been called stupid, worthless or ugly by their dates.
Despite the number of teens who say they have experienced abuse
or say they know someone who has, only about 51 percent say they
were aware of the warning signs of a hurtful dating relationship.
Slightly more than that, about 54 percent, said they would know
what to do if a friend came to them for help.
Domestic violence can have devastating outcomes. A review of cases
by the Baltimore City Domestic Violence Fatality Review
Team (BCDVFRT) found that domestic violence victims often fail to seek help.
“This year, we
reviewed two cases where the domestic violence victim, with a
significant history of abuse, killed her abusive
partner. In both cases, members of the BCDVFRT interviewed the
victim/defendant. A critical part of the interview was to try to
determine why the victims did not access available domestic violence
services in the community. In both cases, the victim/defendant
indicated that she believed the violence in her relationship was
normal. She did not consider this behavior to be domestic violence
and she did not recognize the dangerous and escalating violence.
Moreover, she did not realize that the domestic violence services
available in the community were available and appropriate for her.”
2008 Report from the
“Simply starting the conversation with our teens about the
signs of domestic abuse can be the opportunity for a victim to
seek help,” said Attorney General Gansler. “Making
sure young adults are aware of the problem is the first step in
keeping our kids safe and out of abusive relationships for the
rest of their lives.”
The Attorney General’s
Teen Dating Violence Quiz can be found at http://www.oag.state.md.us/teendatingviolence.htm along
with a host of other resources and information for victims of dating
and domestic violence.