(KCBS) – It’s estimated that one in three teenage girls in this country has experienced some form of abuse in an intimate relationship: verbal, emotional or sexual – or all three.

Teens are suffering, and they aren’t always getting the help they need.

“It was scary and really painful,” one young woman, a student at City College of San Francisco, said when recalling a brutal incident at a BART station two years ago. She was 19 at the time and had reluctantly agreed to meet with an ex-boyfriend, in part because he promised to hand over some money to help pay the cost of replacing a door he had damaged in her apartment.

“He was telling me that he wanted me to spend the day with him because it was his birthday and I told him, ‘you know, this isn’t right, I can’t trust you, just give me the money to help fix the door that you damaged.’ He was like ‘I hate you and you’re a bitch’ and he started hitting me…Punching me in the face and the arm.”

Her story is not unlike thousands of others – teens and young adults who are victimized by abusive partners.

“Anyone can fall victim to domestic violence, it doesn’t matter how educated you are, how rich you are, what gender, sexuality, anything like that,” the woman, who is a peer counselor at City College, explained. “It doesn’t matter, anyone can fall victim to it.”

KCBS’ Jeffrey Schaub Reports:

“What we know is that teenagers and early twenties are the most vulnerable ages for dating violence,” confirmed Leslie Simon, coordinator for City College’s Project SURVIVE, a violence prevention and education program. “Mostly women are being abused, and it’s usually by men. We also know it happens in same-sex relationships.”

The consequences for the victims include low self esteem, drug use, risky sexual behavior or even suicide.

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 1-866-331-9474.

Listen for Jeffrey’s Cover Story reports, “Teen Violence,” Monday through Friday, Dec. 10 – 14, at 6:20 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 12:20 p.m., 4:20 p.m. and 9:20 p.m. on All News 740 and FM 106.9 KCBS.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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