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Adult victims of rape and other forms of physical or psychological abuse have reported some form of earlier intimate partner violence as early as 11 years of age.
For more information on teenage sexual abuse prevention, intervention, and support, check out the resources at U. Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender Public site.
“Dating abuse at any age is a significant form of trauma,” Monroe points out.
“Whenever a teen experiences such abuse, there are going to be emotional symptoms of trauma such as depression, anxiety, shame, and low self-esteem.” When someone is abused, she explains, it creates a sense of disempowerment and loss of control.
They were most likely to speak up or otherwise get involved when they saw a friend’s boyfriend or girlfriend behaving in a jealous or controlling manner, when they heard comments such as “she deserved to be raped,” or when they believed their friend was being abused or was in a potentially dangerous situation.
Fewer students were likely to express concern or disapproval over sexual jokes, comments, and gestures.
Similarly, most parents believe they would recognize signs if their child was in an abusive dating relationship.