Relationship abuse and sexual violence are important societal and public health concerns that begin in adolescence, with behaviors and consequences continuing across the life span. They include physical, sexual, and psychological abuse by a current or former partner in same-sex and opposite-sex couples and occurs across all racial/ethnic groups and socioeconomic statuses. All sexes are identified as survivors and perpetrators of relationship abuse and sexual violence.1 However, women and girls are more likely to be survivors and men and boys more likely to be perpetrators.2,3 While not as well studied, gender-nonconforming youths of all identities are more likely than their gender-conforming peers to be targets of physical and sexual violence.4 Overall, female-identified individuals endure the most injury. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is the leading cause of injury in women aged 16 to 24 years. Femicide is the third leading cause of death in that age group, of which IPV accounts for at least half.5 Relationship abuse and sexual violence can result in a range of physical and psychological health needs that increase health care utilization and costs. The combined medical, mental health, and lost productivity costs of IPV against women are estimated to exceed $8.3 billion per year.6
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Amar A, Laughon K. Gender Violence Prevention in Middle School Male Athletics Programs. JAMA Pediatr. Published online January 13, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.5269
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