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Once teens experience violence in one relationship, research has shown they are at significant risk for experiencing violence in another relationship.
According to a study funded by the National Institute of Justice, 69 percent of youth age 12-18 who were either in a relationship or had been in the past year reported being a victim of teen dating violence.
It can be verbal or physical and sometimes, as in the case of Wayland, Mass., teen Lauren Astley, it can end in death. Researchers estimate that one in three young adults between the ages of 14 and 20 has experienced some form of dating violence.
“Of teenagers who are in abusive relationships, 3 percent will tell an authority figure, 6 percent will tell a family member, but 75 percent will tell a friend - that’s why we focus on kids,” former Middlesex County, Mass., District Attorney Gerry Leone tells “48 Hours”.
Additionally, 63 percent of that same sample acknowledged perpetrating violence in a relationship.