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Teen dating violence can be prevented, especially when there is a focus on reducing risk factors as well as fostering protective factors, and when teens are empowered through family, friends, and others (including role models such as teachers, coaches, mentors, and youth group leaders) to lead healthy lives and establish healthy relationships.
Twenty-one percent of high school girls have been physically or sexually assaulted by someone they dated -- a figure twice as high as previously estimated, a new study shows.Ten percent of high school boys also report having been physically or sexually assaulted by a dating partner, about the same rate reported in earlier surveys, according to a study led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published today in JAMA Pediatrics.Authors of the new report note that the CDC has changed the way it phrases its questions about teen dating violence, leading more students to report assaults."It has to be taken very seriously."Spinks-Franklin say she has seen violence even among relationships between 10- and 11-year-olds."If a parent is concerned that a child is in an unhealthy relationship, they need to address it, but do it in a way that doesn't make the child shut down," she says."They need to feel safe telling a parent."Teens often hide the abuse from their parents, Spinks-Franklin says.