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Violence Dating violence

Men who become violent toward women often begin their pattern of abuse early on, according to Carole Sousa, a consultant to the Massachusetts Department of Education. “I have worked for a number of years in an adult batterer intervention program,” Sousa says. “Across the board, men say they started this behavior when they were twelve, thirteen, fourteen years old.”

Words Can Work offers these statistics about dating violence:

• About one in five girls experience physical or sexual dating violence. 1

• Girls who experience physical or sexual dating violence are significantly more likely to engage in other behaviors that are risky to their health. 1

• High school girls who were victims of violence from dating partners were four to six times more likely than their non-abused peers to have been pregnant. 2

• High school girls who were victims of violence from dating partners were eight to nine times more likely to have attempted suicide during the previous year. 2

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1. Harvard School of Public Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 2001.
2. Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Surveys, 1997, 1999.

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