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Date rape accounts for almost 70 percent of the sexual assaults reported by adolescent and college-age women; 38 percent of those women are between 14 and 17 years old.

Sexual assault victims experience more anxiety, depression and thoughts of suicide than non-victims.

Physical aggression occurs in one in three teen dating relationships. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women What is relationship abuse? They believe they have the right to behave this way, that they are entitled to all of their partner’s attention, affection, loyalty and time, and they make a choice to engage in this behavior.

Nearly 75 percent of girls have reported some sort of emotional partner violence. A pattern of abusive behavior that someone uses against a partner. It can involve insults, isolation from friends and family and controlling what someone wears or with whom they socialize. Teenagers typically have little experience with relationships, they can be under pressure from their peers to act cool and have “romantic” views of love. Sources: United Kingdom’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board Isolation, a teen is no longer spending time with usual friends Constant phone checking; mass texts or calls Fewer male or female friends on Facebook Less bubbly or engaged; acting withdrawn or quieter than normal Being angry or irritable when asked about how things are Changes in appearance or style Changes in activities Making excuses for a boyfriend or girlfriend Physical signs of injury, such as unexplained bruises Missing school or failing grades Self harm Shows extreme jealousy Displays controlling behavior Monitors calls and emails Believes in rigid gender roles Blames others for problems or feelings Makes threats Sources: Aware Inc.

“To be a man does not mean you have to be violent or bully someone else.

The education starts early on in helping boys get a different understanding of what it means to be a male,” says Vargas.

For information about the agency’s Teen Club, which meets Mondays at the Martin Luther King Jr.

The Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund was created by her parents.

It’s mission is to promote dynamic educational programs, particularly those in the areas of the development of healthy teen relationships, the arts and community service.

These lessons shouldn’t end when kids leave the playground and become teenagers.

Promoting nonviolent relationships can be a vital step to preventing domestic abuse in adulthood.