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Study: One In Five H.S. Girls Have Been Abused By Boyfriend

Posted August 1, 2001

— When you send your teen out the door on a date, it can be nerve-racking, and a new


may not make you feel any better.

According to the study in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association, one in five high school girls has been hit, slapped or forced into sex by a boyfriend. The research suggests girls abused by a dating partner are more at risk for drug abuse, suicide or other harmful behavior.

Phyllis McLymore works for the Cumberland County Health Department and teaches a class called the Red Flags of Dating. Students are learning how respect, values and safety play key roles for couples.

"Dating is a very serious responsibility," she says.

McLymore agrees violence can have a long-term psychological effect on a developing teen.

"If someone infringes on your self-esteem, then how you accept that would be a great determiner in how you develop into an adult," she says.

This study is based on a survey of 4,000 public school students in Massachusetts. The authors say the results likely apply to teens nationwide.


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