Abusive relationships can start in the teen years, reports the Chicago Tribune, which writes about programs to persuade Chicago students that it’s not OK to hit, threaten or send 30 text messages an hour to “check up” on what your significant other is doing.
A Chicago teacher asked students: Is it ever OK to be abusive with a boyfriend or girlfriend?
A 16-year-old boy spoke up. “If she does something to provoke you, then you have to put her in her place,” he said nonchalantly. “I’m not going to hit her in the face … but I’m not going to run, either.”
… “A guy may need to get a little physical … to know where his girlfriend is at all times,” one boy argued.
“It’s a way to show how he cares about you,” another said.
In a 2005 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, 9.2 percent of teens said they had been “hit, slapped or physically hurt” by their dating partners in the previous 12 months. Boys were as likely as girls to report being hit by a partner.