"When I talk to adolescents, they may not recognize that what they're experiencing is dating violence," says Exner-Cortens.
"For a lot of them, it's their very first encounter in a romantic setting, so they may not know that it's not healthy.
To measure dating violence, participants were asked if a partner had ever used insults, name-calling or disrespect in front of others; sworn at them; threatened them with violence; pushed or shoved them; or thrown objects that could hurt.
Over a one-year period, about 19 per cent of teen respondents reported dating violence.
When he’s not working toward his sociology degree, the Arizona State University senior is an educator and advocate for Bloom 365 , which raises awareness in Valley high schools of dating abuse.
The seven-day program is given to students once a day, with a different theme for each lesson.
As she got older, her girlfriends would come to her with stories of “boy troubles” that had some kind of abuse in them.