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Surprising New Research Indicates that Significant Numbers of Children as Young as 11 are Engaging in Sexual Activity and that Dating Violence and Abuse are Part of Their Relationships
Date:2/14/2008

Findings are part of new national poll that identifies an unexpected prevalence of dating abuse behaviors among the youngest adolescents and uncovers evidence that sexual activity before age 14 is linked to high

levels of dating abuse and violence among older teens Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch, incoming President of the National Association of Attorneys General, urges attorneys generals to join effort

to establish curricula on teen dating abuse in schools nationwide

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey released today reports that a surprising number of young adolescents are experiencing significant levels of dating violence and abuse. One in five children between the ages of 11 and 14 (20%) say their friends are victims of dating violence and nearly half of all tweens in relationships say they know friends who are verbally abused. Alarmingly, 40% of the youngest tweens, those between the ages of 11 and 12, report that their friends are victims of verbal abuse in relationships and nearly 1 in 10 (9%) say their friends have had sex.

The survey on Tween and Teen dating relationships conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited (TRU) and commissioned by Liz Claiborne Inc. and the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline explores how relationships among young adolescents are fueling high levels of dating violence and abuse. The data reveals that early sexual experiences can be a precursor to dating violence and abuse among older teens. For example, among American teens who had sex by age 14, one out of three teens (34%) say they have been physically abused (hit, kicked or choked) by an angry partner compared to 20% of other teens. 69% of teens who had sex before 14 said they had experienced all aspects of dating abuse including verbal, emotional physical and mental abuse.

"We know that education for tweens and teens helps and is critically important if we are going to break the cycle of abuse and strengthen
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SOURCE Liz Claiborne Inc.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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