Teen Dating Violence
Nearly 1 in 5 Chicago youth is experiencing violence in a dating relationship – and the numbers are rising. To turn those numbers around, we will need to change our discourse about the issue; develop approaches that derive from the experiences and needs of young people; and promote systems change.
In 2009, a staggering 18.5% of Chicago youth surveyed reported that they had been hit, slapped or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend. Learn here how Chicago statistics compare to Illinois and national data on teen dating violence.
Issues & Needs
For too long, anti-violence advocates have developed our approaches to ending teen dating violence based on an understanding of adult women’s experiences and needs. The solutions that we offer violence survivors – for example, domestic violence hotlines, or protective orders – are not solutions that youth can or will access. The central need, then, is to develop solutions that work for youth. Here are some factors to keep in mind.
Young women are most likely to turn to other youth for support if they are in a violent dataing relationship. So it is crucial that young people be at the forefront of efforts to end dating violence. Learn here about several youth-led efforts, and find tools that you can use in your own work.