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For that project, also funded by the NIJ, she and coresearchers from Johns Hopkins University drove through the streets of Baltimore at night and recruited young women in abusive relationships.
At first, the researchers were worried that they would have a hard time finding such subjects, says Bair-Merritt.
“Sitting down with women and saying, ‘OK, if there were a violent episode, do you have a neighbor you can call?
’ is important, but adolescents also need discussions about their relationships and what is or is not healthy,” she says.
Yet over the course of a lifetime, one fourth to one third of women in the United States will be abused by an intimate partner.
looks at the work of BU researchers and medical experts who study and treat the causes and consequences of violence.
That abuse can take many forms, from sexual exploitation to physical violence to controlling intimidation to hurtful mind games, and it can start at age 11 or 12.
Studies have shown that in any recent 12-month period, 20 percent of high school girls who are in a relationship have been subject to physical or sexual violence.