Communication and Understanding Are Keys to Preventing Teen Dating Violence

Mar 12, 2014, 10:00 ET from Buckeye Community Health Plan

COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Teasing and name calling may appear to be a harmless and "normal" part of teen dating, but Ronald Charles, M.D., vice president for medical affairs for Buckeye Community Health Plan (BCHP) says that, according to recent research from the Centers for Disease Control, these behaviors can set the stage for more serious violence like physical assault and rape.

"Teen dating violence includes physical, sexual, or psychological/emotional violence in a dating relationship, as well as stalking. It can occur in person or online and may occur between a current or former dating partner," Dr. Charles explained.

In a nationwide survey, 9.4 percent of high school students report being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the 12 months prior to the survey. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey). About 1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 7 men who ever experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, first experienced some form of partner violence between 11 and 17 years of age (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey).

Communication between partners, managing uncomfortable emotions like anger and jealousy, and treating others with respect are a few ways to keep relationships healthy and non-violent.

"Teens receive messages about how to behave in relationships from peers, adults in their lives, and the media. All too often these examples suggest violence in a relationship is acceptable, but violence is never acceptable," Dr. Charles said.

Violence is related to certain risk factors. Risks of having unhealthy relationships increase for teens who:

  • Believe it is acceptable to use threats or violence to get their way or to express frustration or anger;
  • Use alcohol or drugs;
  • Can't manage anger or frustration;
  • Hang out with violent peers;
  • Have multiple sexual partners;
  • Have a friend involved in dating violence;
  • Are depressed or anxious;
  • Have learning difficulties and other problems at school;
  • Don't have parental supervision and support;
  • Witness violence at home or in the community; or
  • Have a history of aggressive behavior or bullying.

Dr. Charles said dating violence can be prevented when teens, families, organizations, and communities work together to implement effective prevention strategies.

Here are some resources that can provide insight and support on teen dating violence:

For additional information about teen dating violence, visit the Centers for Disease Control at

About Buckeye Community Health Plan 
Buckeye Community Health Plan is a managed care plan that has been providing services in Ohio since 2004. Buckeye is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, a leading multi-line healthcare enterprise offering both core Medicaid and specialty services.  Information regarding Buckeye is available via the Internet at Buckeye can be followed on Twitter as @Buckeye_Health.

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SOURCE Buckeye Community Health Plan