Susie Kroll has worked in various trainings, seminars, and keynotes to provide teens with an understanding of what dating abuse really is. A report conducted by Teenage Unlimited claimed that “57 percent of teens know someone who has been physically, sexually, or verbally abusive in a dating relationship.” Kroll’s mission is to spread awareness by answering your deepest questions on teen related violence.
So, when it comes to LGBT&Q relationships, advocates and social services organizations see even less reporting than men battered by women in heterosexual relationships. I strongly believe that this is due to that same societal assumption that women don’t batter women and men don’t batter men. In just about every high school I have visited, I have had the good fortune to meet LGBT&Q students that have come out of Dating Violence relationships safely. Each and every individual in any intimate partner relationship that is experiencing Teen Dating Violence or Domestic Violence need and deserve the same respect, access to services, and help that advocates and other DV services can provide because the abuse they are experiencing is the same as a hetero couple.Reader Julia asked, “Is abuse just as common in same sex relationships as it is in heterosexual relationships? How common is it?”
About 1 in every 5 female high school students report being physically abused and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. 57% of teens know someone who has been physically, sexually, or verbally abusive in a dating relationship. That is a huge percentage and derived only from the statistics of those that report being abused. It most likely is a higher percentage if we take into account those who haven’t reported or don’t understand that they are being victimized. That is why education on Teen Dating Violence is so important. Since Dating Abuse is all about gaining and maintaining power and control over a dating partner no matter the sexual orientation of the individuals in the relationship, it is safe to assume that it is occurring with the same frequency in both hetero and LGBT&Q relationships.
According to a research article in the Journal of Adolescent Health, in August of 2004, it was found that gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents and youths involved in same-sex relationships are just as likely to experience dating violence as youths involved in opposite sex-dating. Unfortunately, when Teen Dating Violence occurs, the vast majority of reporting only comes from opposite sex couples. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening with the same frequency in LGBT&Q relationships. We currently just aren’t seeing the reporting in the same volume. This is a disturbing fact because individuals in LGBT&Q relationships with Teen Dating Violence need the same help that hetero couples do. Unfortunately, we truly don’t know the exact numbers or how common dating violence is in LGBT&Q relationships because of the lack of complete reporting and the current research for LGBT&Q dating violence information is not being conducted with the same intensity as heterosexual couple dating violence research.
Reasons to Be Beautiful Magazine features questions from our readers in a “Q&A From a Teen Dating Violence Expert” column every week. Please send all questions to Dating@ReasonstoBeBeautiful.com. If you wish to remain anonymous, please tell us in your e-mail. You may ask as many questions as you desire.
*Names changed to protect our readers who wish to remain anonymous.