Parents in the dark about teen dating abuse

Too often, warning signs of teen dating abuse go unnoticed. highlights the often hidden issue of teen dating violence.

Chicago, August 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Nearly 10 percent of U.S. high schoolers report being hit, slapped or physically hurt by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the past year, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control. And nearly one in four have been victimized through technology, according to a nationwide survey by Liz Claiborne Inc. and the Family Prevention Fund.

To help raise awareness of teen dating violence and the dangers of digital abuse, shares the story of Kari, a high school girl who went from an ambitious achiever to a tragic victim of teen dating violence.

Missed warning signs

Though teen dating abuse is widespread, it’s often misunderstood–or just missed by adults. That’s because many teens don’t share stories of abuse and much of the abuse takes place out of view.

“People I’ve talked to think teen dating violence is all about bruises. It’s not just about bruises. You can’t see emotional abuse,” says one teen at

“Teen dating abuse is just like domestic violence,” says Chicago Police Department’s Domestic Violence Liaison Officer Claretha Cross, one of the experts featured on “It’s abuse designed to maintain and gain power and control over another person.”

Where can I learn more? is a website that features life stories, interviews with dating abuse experts, resources, and tips to help parents start a conversation about teen dating violence and safe relationships.

Parents can also register for the monthly Spotlight Newsletter and News Alerts for in-depth articles and breaking news on important health topics.

For information about other family-focused health topics–including childhood obesity and childhood asthma–and to see more life stories, visit

About Be Smart. Be Well. is sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, Divisions of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.