An additional concern is that adolescence is the time when the hidden epidemic of dating abuse begins.
Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse by a dating partner is exceedingly common, starts early, and affects both females and males.
In many cases, repeated exposure can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Teenagers exposed to domestic violence often fail to form affectionate and trustworthy relationships with their parents, and end up plagued with feelings of isolation, helplessness, and doubt of self-worth.
The Centre for Promoting Alternatives to Violence describes abusers as being obsessively jealous and possessive, overly confident, having mood swings or a history of violence or temper, seeking to isolate their partner from family, friends and colleagues, and having a tendency to blame external stressors.
Meanwhile, victims of relationship abuse share many traits as well, including: physical signs of injury, missing time at work or school, slipping performance at work or school, changes in mood or personality, increased use of drugs or alcohol, and increasing isolation from friends and family.
As a result, it may be viewed by society as a fairly accepted and typical behavior.
In a survey of male and female college students, more than one-third (35%) of students had experienced some more of relationship violence before coming to college and 1 in 4 (24.9%).reported experiencing relationship violence during college (Forke et al, 2008).
Dating violence is a school and college health issue.
This abuse/violence can take a number of forms: sexual assault, sexual harassment, threats, physical violence, verbal, mental, or emotional abuse, social sabotage, and stalking.
It can include psychological abuse, emotional blackmail, sexual abuse, physical abuse and psychological manipulation.