Many Teens Afraid to Intervene in Sexual Assault, Survey Finds03/13/13
WEDNESDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of all
teens and young adults in the United States know a victim of dating
violence or sexual assault, according to a new national survey.
But 53 percent would find it difficult to intervene, and 40
percent wouldn't even know what to do if they witnessed such a
crime, the poll found.
The survey "uncovers the grim reality of dating violence and
sexual assault among 15 to 22 year olds, and the fact that so many
are uncertain about the warning signs and do not know what to do to
stop violence and assault," the organizers of a national effort to
combat dating violence and sexual aggression said in a news
Called NO MORE, this undertaking "is designed to end the stigma
and shame of domestic violence and sexual assault, drive new
awareness and activate involvement," the organizers explained in
the news release.
The March 13 launch of NO MORE coincides with the start
Wednesday of a highly publicized rape trial in Steubenville, Ohio.
Two high school football players are accused of raping a
16-year-old girl while other boys allegedly watched.
The survey of teens' and young adults' attitudes, funded by the
Avon Foundation for Women, was conducted by GfK Public Affairs and
Corporate Communications. Some highlights follow:
- 36 percent of young men interviewed knew a victim of dating
violence, and 25 percent knew a victim of sexual assault.
- One in six young women said they were the victim of sexual
assault, compared to one in 50 young men.
- Asked about dating violence, 9 percent said they had hit their
significant other. Young women were three times more likely to have
done so than young men. However, the vast majority of young people
said they would not be capable of this type of behavior.
- 37 percent of Hispanics perceived dating violence as a problem
among their friends.
- 88 percent of blacks polled viewed dating violence as a
- Black young people have more discussions with their friends and
parents about dating abuse and sexual violence than whites.
- 62 percent of young men and women said they would be willing to
help if they witnessed dating violence or a sexual assault, but
only 46 percent of males thought they would recognize such a
- One in three young women said they didn't know the signs of
- One in three young people admitted fear of getting hurt
physically could prevent them from intervening.
The organizers of NO MORE believe teaching young people about
different forms of abuse and how to combat it can help prevent
tragedies like the one in Ohio.
Many teens were unaware that dating abuse, for example, includes
controlling behaviors, name-calling and stalking.
"Once abusive behaviors are more clearly defined and young men are educated to recognize abuse, it is likely they will intervene more often and more successfully," according to the study authors.
Major violence-prevention agencies and other organizations are
uniting behind NO MORE. Like the pink breast cancer ribbon or the
red AIDS ribbon, the NO MORE symbol is intended to boost awareness
of the issue.
For more information on the new national effort, visit
Copyright © 2013
. All rights reserved.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.