1 in 6 high school girls in TN experience dating violence, double the national rate
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A new report from the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth says one in six Tennessee high school girls experienced dating physical abuse in 2019.
The report found that this rate was not only the highest in the United States, but almost double the national rate.
“If you take a second and ask any girls you know, I’m sure they can tell you about a friend of a friend or even themselves being in an abusive relationship,” she said. said Sarah, who survived a teenage relationship. due to the sensitivity of the subject, asked not to use his last name.
Sarah says she only recently realized that her high school boyfriend had raped and emotionally abused her.
“He turned it around and if I say no, it’s five minutes and try again. And I’m tired of saying no. “I thought it would be better to finish it than to sit and fight and argue,” he says.
According to 2021 CDC data, 13 percent of American high school students reported being sexually assaulted.
Sarah said she was in an abusive relationship during her freshman year of college.
“I barely left the hostel because I could have easily talked to him on the phone if I hadn’t missed him,” he recalled. “I’ve become a shell of a man in relation to the outside world.”
According to Sarah, the friend stepped in and tried to help after the friend heard her screaming on the phone, which led to Sarah breaking up with her boyfriend.
Experts at the Sexual Assault Center say adults need to make sure they speak up to help people in situations like Sarah’s and reduce the number of teenagers who are physically, emotionally and sexually abused. about relationships with teenagers.
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“We don’t just have to teach them when they’re teenagers, we can teach them how to interact with people when they’re young,” said Alicia Bunch, clinical director of the Sexual Assault Center.
Bunch said it’s important for teens to have easy access to resources and support.
The Sexual Assault Center has a 24-hour crisis and support line that can be reached at 1-866-811-7473.
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