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Every sixth teenager suffers from dating violence

sex and relationships Updated: Jul 09, 2014 16:13 IST
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Have you been a victim of punching, hair pulling, shoving or throwing things when your dating experience went sour in teenage years? You are not alone.

According to a study led by an Indian-origin researcher, dating during teenage years takes a violent turn for nearly one in six young people.

Moreover, those with depression, or a history of using drugs or alcohol, have a higher likelihood to act as the aggressor or victim.

"It is important to think about both genders when trying to identify teenage dating violence, especially when there are other conditions we may be trying to assess in the health care setting," said Vijay Singh, a clinical lecturer in departments of emergency medicine and family medicine at University of Michigan.

The startling number, drawn from a University of Michigan survey of more than 4,000 adolescent patients aged 14-20 seeking emergency care, indicates that dating violence is common and affects both genders.

Read | Texting: New form of dating violence

"The data remind us that teenage relationships are not immune to violence and should encourage providers to ask adolescent patients about this important issues," Singh added.

While the researchers did not ask about the gender of the teenager's partner or about emotional or sexual abuse, the new data gave new insight into teenage dating violence that builds on school-based and smaller healthcare-based studies.

In all, one in five young women said they had been the victim or aggressor in a violent situation last year with a romantic partner while one in eight young men reported the same.

Interestingly, teenage girls who had sought emergency care for an intentional injury had twice the odds of reporting violence in their dating relationships.

"Get help when things threaten to turn violent," Singh advised.

The results were published online in the journal Annals of Emergency Medicine.