In Québec, the numbers are worrying: 63% of girls and 49% of boys in Secondary 3 to 5 (Grades 9-11) have experienced DV in the past year. This form of violence has a number of potentially serious consequences. Although many studies have been published on the subject, their findings are sometimes contradictory and the characteristics of the sub-groups most at risk for DV remain unknown.
Parents and peers can make a difference in preventing teenage dating violence.
To better understand dating violence and identify priority intervention factors, a synthesis of scientific knowledge is required. This project reviews the literature on some of the risk and protective factors related to DV that affect all young people, including gender diverse youth.
For all adolescents, childhood abuse, sexual harassment by peers and having friends with delinquent behaviour increase the risk of experiencing DV. Parents and peers can nevertheless play a role in the prevention of DV among adolescents by providing support and parental supervision.
Among gender diverse youth, young women and young people who identify as having a bisexual identity, desires or behaviour, as well as those who are victimized because of their gender identity or sexual orientation, are particularly at risk of DV.
We conclude that parents and peers can make a difference in preventing teenage DV. It is therefore relevant and urgent that prevention efforts be adapted to consider these key players, and to target the most at-risk youth.
Martine Hébert, Université du Québec à Montréal
Deposit of the research report: November 2016