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One in Ten Tennessee Teens Claims Dating Violence

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (NELSON) -- A new federal study shows that about one Tennessee teen in ten reports being the victim of dating violence.

According to a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 9 percent of high school students have been purposefully hit, slapped, or physically hurt while in a relationship.

Surprisingly, male teens report abuse nearly as often as female students. However, the female population’s domestic violence rate is slightly higher at 10.1 percent. For Tennessee males the rate is 8.7 percent.

Kimberly Reynolds, heads a domestic violence program that serves Rutherford and Cannon Counties.

“Unfortunately young people have a ten feet tall and bullet proof personality. Nobody thinks it can ever happen to them and when it does they’re shocked and they don’t know what to do and you know a lot of them just freeze.”

Reynolds says at least 30% of all domestic cases her agency sees involve high school students.

Although dating violence is high among Tennessee teens, the state has the lowest rate in the Southeast according to the CDC. Georgia has the highest rate with 16 students out of 100 reporting abuse.

For more information on dating violence and prevention go to www.dvpshelter.orgor call the 24-hour crisis line, 615- 896-1628.