Friday, February 16, 2007

Liz Claiborne Sponsors Technology & Teen Dating Abuse Survey

A new survey on teens and dating abuse reveals that an alarming number of teens in dating relationships are being controlled, threatened and humiliated through cell phones and the Internet with unimaginable frequency. The research also reveals disturbing data that a significant majority of parents are completely unaware of this type of dating abuse and the dangers facing their teens. The survey was conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited (TRU) for CAEPV Member Liz Claiborne Inc. Teens surveyed range in age from 13-18. Key Findings Include:

Teens report dating abuse via technology is a serious problem
-71% of teens regard boyfriends/girlfriends spreading rumors about them on cellphones and social networking sites as a serious problem.
-68% of teens say boyfriends/girlfriends sharing private or embarrassing pictures/videos on cell phones and computers is a serious problem.

Cell phone calls and texting at unimaginable frequency mean constant control day and night
-Nearly one in four teens in a relationship (24%) communicated with their partner via cellphone or texting HOURLY between midnight and 5:00am.
-One in three teens (30%) say they are text messaged 10, 20, 30 times an hour by a partner inquiring where they are, what they're doing, or who they're with.

Parents do not know about dating teens' constant contact
-67% of parents whose teens were checked up on 30 times per day on their cell phone were unaware this was happening.
-82% of parents whose teens were e-mailed or texted 30 times per hour were unaware this was happening.

Cell phones and the Internet have become weapons of teen dating abuse
-One in four teens in a relationship (25%) say they have been called names, harassed, or put down by their partner through cellphones and texting.
-One in five teens in a relationship (22%) have been asked to engage in sex by cellphone or the Internet when they do not want to.

Parents do not know about this abuse
-71% of parents were unaware that their teen is afraid of not responding to a cell phone call, text or IM message or e-mail for fear of what their partner might do.
-67% of parents were unaware that their teen was asked to have sex or engage in sexual acts via cell phone, e-mail, IM, or texting when they did not want to.

Parents believe technology makes dating abuse more prevalent and more hidden - yet few are doing anything about it
-57% of parents believe that computers and cell phones make abuse in teen dating relationships more likely to occur. And 53% of parents believe that computers and cell phones make abuse easier to conceal.
-But roughly one in four parents of teens (28%) say they limit their teenager's use of a cell phone and online communications with a partner.

Parents also do not know that their teens are victims of physical and sexual abuse
-75% of parents were unaware that their teen had been physically hurt or bruised by their partner.
-69% of parents were unaware that their teen was pressured by their partner to perform oral sex.
-58% of parents were unaware that their teen had been hit, slapped, pushed, punched, kicked or choked by their partner.

Click here to read the full report.


Sassy said...

Kim - I first heard of this report on CNN the other night. I have a degree in marketing research, have worked in marketing for 20+ years, and am always interested in "stats". I linked to the report and read the Summary and viewed those "stats". I'm concerned these stats may totally overstate the problems addressed in the survey. I don't see how the "problems" are different than they've always been in teenage relationships. There has always been most of stated these abuses between girls and girlfriends or rivals and guys, girls and rivals; and did the survey ask follow up questions to about the physical abuses to see how many of those were just the usual playing around games that young couples play, wrestling, poking, pushing -- you know how those go it's part of the whole sex play game (different from a soccer punch to an eye-real abuse. Lastly what's the big concern, I realize it's about some money from agencies or maybe Liz Claiborne, but I don't like that a very limited research study can generate such persuasive results that can certainly impact teens rights, parents rights, and can put too much focus on the negative. Not one positive result was reported from this report, leading me to believe it was the purposeful structuring of the Questionnaire Design to match the clients' expected results. (And I personally know this happens in many, many marketing studies). Relationships between all gender of teens has always been tulmultous, it always will be. Its' a time of exploration and growth. Lastly, the techno teens can always turn off those cell phones and log off those computers. Maybe that would be a good point to get across to the teens with the money awarded from this study. www,

Kim Wells said...

R&M - Thank you for your thoughts. While I do not have a degree in marketing research, I really don’t believe that Liz Claiborne wants to “create” a problem with dating abuse among kids – they want it to go away. At the very least if, as you say, this is the way “it has always been,” then maybe parents will want to take more time to talk with their kids about healthy and respectful relationships before they get into potentially abusive ones.

Kim Wells said...

I also wanted to note that although we are posting here and I believe you actually meant to post with regards to the survey released July 7, 10 leading experts in domestic violence and teen dating abuse were asked to comment on the study and all, uniformly , reinforced its importance and relevance in understanding new forms of dating abuse among teens.

The July 7, 2008 survey information and details are available through my blog at