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Rape is most likely to be perpetrated by someone the victim knows, such as a friend, an acquaintance, a date, a family member, or a partner (Silverman, Raj, Mucci, and Hathaway, 2001; Warshaw, 1988; Haplem, Oslak, Young, Martin, and Kupper, 2001).According to the 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, approximately 10 percent of adolescents nationwide reported being the victim of physical violence at the hands of a romantic partner during the previous year. The rate of psychological victimization is even higher: Between two and three in 10 reported being verbally or psychologically abused in the previous year, according to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.As for perpetration rates, there are currently no nationwide estimates for who does the abusing, and state estimates vary significantly.In a third study, teen couples were videotaped while performing a problem-solving task. Researchers later reviewed the tapes and identified acts of physical aggression that occurred between the boys and girls during the exercise. [ Giordano is one of the authors of this article.] More than half of the girls in physically aggressive relationships said both they and their dating partner committed aggressive acts during the relationship. About a third of the girls said they were the sole perpetrators, and 13 percent reported that they were the sole victims. Yonas, "The Meaning of Dating Violence in the Lives of Middle School Adolescents: A Report of a Focus Group Study," 4 (1998): 180-194. In South Carolina, for example, nearly 8 percent of adolescents reported being physically violent to a romantic partner.
Consequently, those in the field have to rely on an framework to examine the problem of teen dating violence.
A split currently exists, however, among experts in the adult intimate partner violence arena, and attendees at the DOJ-HHS teen dating workshop mirrored this divide.
Some experts hold that men and women are mutually combative and that this behavior should be seen as part of a larger pattern of family conflict.
Teens experiencing dating violence usually tell no one. One study found that only 6% of girls and 11% of boys told anyone about the abuse that they experienced (O'Keefe and Treister, 1998).
Middle school, high school, and college age women experience a higher rate of rape than any other group.