Teen girls in physically abusive relationships are three and a half times more likely to become pregnant than non-abused girls.
Teen mothers who experience physical abuse within three months following delivery are nearly twice as likely to have a repeat pregnancy within 24 months than non-abused teen mothers. Though these statistics focus on female victims and male aggressors, males can be victims as well with female partner aggressors.
Terms and Abusive Actions to Know and Talk About With Your Teen
Reproductive coercion involves behaviors aimed to maintain power and control in a relationship related to reproductive health by someone who is, was, or wishes to be involved in an intimate or dating relationship with an adult or adolescent. This can include:
- Attempts to impregnate a partner or become pregnant against the other partner’s wishes
- Controlling outcomes of pregnancy (including forcing a female to get an abortion, or to remain pregnant)
- Coercing a partner to have unprotected sex
- Interfering with birth control methods (including poking holes in condoms)
Sexual coercion includes creating a feeling, situation or atmosphere where emotional and physical control lead to sexual abuse or rape, or a victim feeling that he or she has no choice but to submit to sexual activity with the perpetrator. This can include:
- Repeatedly pressuring a partner to have sex when he or she does not want to
- Threatening to end a relationship if a person does not have sex
- Forcing a partner not to use condoms
- Intentionally exposing a partner to a STI or HIV
Birth Control Sabotage
Birth control sabotage is the active interference with a partner’s contraceptive methods. This can include:
- Destroying or disposing of contraceptives
- Impeding condom use (including lying about whether the condom is actually on during sex)
- Preventing birth control access or use
- Threatening physical harm for contraception use
Talking Points & Tips
Here are some good questions to start a conversation about dating violence and pregnancy with your teen:
- Are you having sex with your partner? If so, are you using protection, and what kind?
- Do you ever feel your partner tries to convince you not to use protection? Are you ever worried they may try to sabotage your protection?
- Has anyone ever threatened to break up with you or share a secret about you if you did not have sex with them?
- Has any of this ever happened to one of your friends?
The following are some good resources with statistics, definitions, types of birth control, and dating violence and pregnancy information:
More Prevention Topics for Parents
Effectively Communicating with Teens
Talking to teens is tough. Get tips on how to start conversations and answer tough questions.Get Conversation Pointers
Identifying Healthy Teen Dating Relationships
More importantly, be able to identify abusive behavior in your teen’s relationships.Learn the Signs
The Connection Between Dating Violence and Pregnancy
A manipulative and controlling relationship can drastically increase the likelihood of teen pregnancy.What You Should Know
The Impact of Social Media on Teen Relationships
Social media can help us connect with others, while ushering in greater complications around safety and control.How to Set Boundaries
Parent / teen relationships thrive when a parent can evaluate how their own behavior directly impacts their teen.How You Can Be More Aware
Self-care for Teens
Preventing abusive relationships starts with teaching teens how to respect and take care of theirself, strengthening their independence.Encouraging Teens' Individual Self