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Magnitude of the Problem: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9% of high school students reported that they had been purposely physically hurt by a dating partner in the past year (CDC – 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance questionnaire).
A survey of adult victims of dating violence found that nearly 1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 7 men first experienced partner violence between the ages of 11 and 17 (CDC, 2012 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey).
Some users openly say they are men looking to meet under-age girls.
And unlike sites like Facebook, the “profile” details of members are automatically visible.
My LOL.com, described by worried NSPCC officials as a “playground for paedophiles”, is one of a number of sites rapidly overtaking social networking favourites like Facebook. But it is the most popular dating site for under-18s in the UK and is visited by more than 300,000 users a month.Shockingly, many users are adults trying to contact naive youngsters, a Sunday People investigation found.Prevention: Close to half of adolescents between the ages of 11 and 14 have dated (Liz Claiborne, Inc./Teen Research Unlimited, Tween and Teen Dating Violence and Abuse Study, 2008).Since dating relationships begin in early adolescence, prevention programs must start with this age group in order to be effective in deterring teen dating violence.
The site allows anyone aged 13 to 25 to register, give out contact details and post provocative pictures of themselves.But there is nothing to stop perverts using false ages to join.