Contact: Teri Stoddard

Teenage Girls Are More Likely to Abuse, But VP Biden Skirted the Truth

WASHINGTON – Despite calls to address the growing epidemic of abusive teenage girls, Vice President Biden glossed over the problem during his Tuesday appearance on ABC’s The View. Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) is calling on the Vice President to remove the veil of silence that envelops the problem.

Surveys now show high school girls are more likely than boys to engage in physical violence with their dating partners. But VP Biden only spoke of girls as victims and never mentioned them as possible perpetrators. Host Whoopi Goldberg even asked the Vice President a direct question about the reality of dating violence, but Biden did not respond to the question:

“And will you just also remind people, remind the women that the way to get a man’s attention is not to hit him? Do not hit him. (applause) Because this is something violence in itself, is something we need to teach kids is not to perpetrate on each other. No?”

Earlier this month a judge in Memphis, Tenn. ruled 17-year-old Renee Addison would stand trial as an adult following the fatal shooting of her dating partner, Sarah Gailbraith. The two were known to be in a relationship and had dated off and on for five years.

In June, 17-year-old Vanessa McGhee stabbed her boyfriend during a dispute in their Brooklyn apartment. McGhee was later charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

The Center for Disease Control’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey reveals males are being victimized at a higher rate than females: 10 percent of teenage males versus 9 percent of teenage females report dating violence. In the American Journal of Public Health, a study of young adults revealed a dramatic gap for one-way violence: in 71 percent of cases, females were the aggressors.

SAVE has sent the vice president a letter highlighting how teenage females are now more likely than high school males to resort to partner abuse:

“The Vice President ignored the majority of teens caught up in abusive dating relationships during his appearance on The View,” explains SAVE spokesman Philip W. Cook. “He needs to set the record straight: teenage girls are as likely as boys to slap, hit, and kick their partners. Violence by anyone only increases the risk of being injured in return. We need a consistent message about dating violence that is based on factual information and more closely rooted in reality.”