Many teens reported being assaulted multiple times, according to the study, based on the CDC's Youth Behavior Risk Surveillance System using questionnaires answered by more than 13,000 high school students."If there is violence once, there is likely to be violence again," Spinks-Franklin says.
"It has to be taken very seriously."Spinks-Franklin say she has seen violence even among relationships between 10- and 11-year-olds."If a parent is concerned that a child is in an unhealthy relationship, they need to address it, but do it in a way that doesn't make the child shut down," she says.
"They need to feel safe telling a parent."Teens often hide the abuse from their parents, Spinks-Franklin says.
Researchers don't know if any of these events causes the others, however.
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.
Dating violence crosses all racial, age, economic and social lines.
The Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness describes dating abuse as a "pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors used to maintain power and control over a former or current intimate partner." Individuals of all walks of life can find themselves in an abusive relationship.