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Relationship violence among teenage students is more common than most admit, according to a study.
The study found intimate partner violence not only occurs early in teenage relationships, but the proportion of students who experience violence in their relationships remains the same throughout teen student years.
Researchers at the University of Georgia tracked and interviewed a group of participants as they moved from sixth grade to twelfth grade.
Researchers found approximately one in three students experience some form of relationship violence over these years.
“One in three students experience some form
of relationship violence over these years.”
Over the same time period, 14% of boys and 24 to 32% of girls commit violence against their relationship partner, while 32 to 38% of boys and 26% of girls are victimized by at least one of their relationship partners in middle and high school.
Researchers noted girls were more likely to perpetrate violence in their relationship than boys, a point standing in sharp contrast to popular conceptions of relationship violence.
Researchers elaborated on this point, noting it is:
“Surprising to most people, but to anyone who works in this field, it’s not really surprising. What happens frequently is that it’s not as serious when a girl hits a guy. The consequences are not as serious, and people don’t take it as seriously.”
Overall researchers feel the fact the same proportion of sixth graders experience relationship violence as twelfth graders deserves further attention:
“We need to start talking early about violence, and talk to both boys and girls.”