Key Findings

  • Dating relationships and dating violence and abuse start by age 11, much earlier than expected.
    • 11-14 year olds in relationships report surprising, significant levels of abusive behavior in dating relationships.
    • Significant numbers of teens are experiencing emotional and mental abuse and violence in their dating relationships; this is even more alarming among teens who have had sex by the age of 14.
  • For the first time, data has revealed an alarming correlation between early sexual experiences and teen dating violence and abuse.
    • Sex is considered by tweens and parents to be a normal part of a relationship for 11-14 year old kids!
    • A third of all 11-14 year old kids in relationships report that sexual behavior is evident among their friends.
  • Today’s tween relationship behavior may foreshadow a new wave of abuse among teens in the future.
  • Parents think they know what’s up, but many don’t have any idea.

About the Survey

TRU was commissioned by Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc. (formerly Liz Claiborne Inc.) and the National Dating Abuse Helpline to conduct quantitative research among tweens (ages 11-14), parents of tweens, and teens (ages 15 18) who have been in a relationship about young dating relationships and the presence/absence of sexual activity and abusive behaviors. TRU independently sampled the three groups and fielded a customized 15-minute survey online to each group. A total of 2,192 interviews (1,043 tweens, 523 parents, and 626 teens) were completed and processed for analysis.

Get the Full Report

Download the full report for more information on tweens and dating abuse.