Issue Brief | September 2010
A Series of Research and Policy Publications of The Schubert Center for Child Studies College of Arts and Sciences Case Western Reserve University
Teen Dating Violence and Girls
In the United States, as many as 1 in 5 teens reported experiencing physical or sexual abuse in a dating relationship1 and the prevalence of emotional or verbal abuse may be even higher. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, young women aged 16-24 are more vulnerable to intimate partner violence than any other age group.2
On March 5, 2007, a Cleveland teen, Johanna Orozco, then 18, was shot in the face at close range by her ex-boyfriend. Her attacker, 17 year-old Juan Ruiz, shot Johanna after she had accused him of raping and stalking her. Juan Ruiz was sentenced to 27 years in prison. Johanna survived the attack and is now a university student and a recognized advocate for teen dating violence advocacy and prevention, lobbying in the Ohio legislature for improved laws to protect victims of teen dating violence. While particularly tragic cases are often highlighted in the media, such as the Johanna Orozco case in Cleveland, these are merely examples of a more widespread problem of violence and abuse in adolescent relationships. This abuse has serious immediate consequences for teens and has also been linked to a pattern of violence which may lead to intimate partner violence in adulthood. Less attention has been given to the amount and nature of all forms of violence both experienced and committed by teen girls compared to adult domestic violence; however, research and practice have begun to focus more on this important social problem.
TH E SCH U B ERT CENTER FOR CH I LD STU DI ES in the College of Arts and Sciences at Case Western Reserve University bridges research, practice, policy and education for the well-being of children and adolescents. Our focus is on children from infancy through adolescence in local, national, international and global settings.
Jill E. Korbin, Ph.D. DIRECTOR | Jessica McRitchie ASSISTANT DIRECTOR | Elizabeth Short, Ph.D. ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR | Gabriella Celeste, J.D. CHILD POLICY DIRECTOR Donald Freedheim, Ph.D. FOUNDING DIRECTOR | Nadia El-Shaarawi GRADUATE ASSISTANT | Michelle McTygue GRAPHIC DESIGNER WEB
http://schubert.case.edu | EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org | PHONE 216.368.0540 | 615 Crawford Hall, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-7179
FOCUS ON GIRLS & GIRLHOOD AT CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY
Teen Dating Violence and Girls
The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health found that up to 30% of adolescents reported being verbally or psychologically abused by an intimate partner in the previous year.3 Nationally, the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) found that 9.9% of girls reported having been “Hit, Slapped, Or Physically Hurt On Purpose By Their Boyfriend Or Girlfriend” (physical violence) in the year prior to the YRBS. In Ohio, 9.7% of girls surveyed reported having experienced physical violence, while 9.8% of boys also reported it. By grade level, 6.3% of those in 9th grade, 10.2% of those in 10th, 11.7% of those in 11th grade, and 11.7% of those in 12th grade reported experiencing physical violence. In Cuyahoga County, 6.8% of students reported being the victim of dating violence in the past year, with similar rates of victimization for male and female students, according to the 2006-2007 YRBS report.4 Research shows that adolescent girls engage in aggressive behaviors toward dating partners at rates comparable to boys; however, gender differences in the types of behaviors, their motivation and the consequences of their acts warrant further exploration.9 The YRBS does not capture sexual violence in dating relationships specifically, but national statistics demonstrate that adolescent and young adult women are more than four times more likely to be the victim of attempted rape...