I have recently read the following statistics taken from Joyce Meyer's 'Battlefield of the Mind' book for teenagers and it certainly worried me...
1. Almost half of all year 9- through to year 12 have had sex-including 61% of high school seniors. (And teens who watch lots of sex on TV are more than twice as likely to have sex as those who are more discerning about their TV viewing)
2. Nearly half of people under the age of 21 who drink alcohol, binge drink (this is defined as having 5 or more alcoholic drinks on one occasion.) More than 500,000 young people are unintentionally injured every year while under the influence of alcohol, and about 1,500 of this die as as a direct result of alcohol abuse, such as alcohol poisoning.
3. While half of today's teens are sexually active, 84% of parents believe their kids are NOT sexually active. Meanwhile, 87% of teens say it would be easier to delay sex if they could have more open, honest talks with parents.
4. 1 in 6 of today's young females are drunk when they lose their virginity. (1 in 7 say their partner was too).
5. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among Americans ages 15-24.
6. More than 4 million teens become infected with an STD each year.
7. Almost 1 in 4 year 8's have tried 'huffing' - using household chemicals like paint thinner or glue to get high.
8. Every year in the U.S. more than 800,000 girls 19 and under get pregnant.
9. The average age at which teens start taking drugs is 13.
10. Among sexually active high-school seniors, more than 21% have had 4 or more partners.
In a couple of weeks I will be doing a photo shoot for an up coming initiative based in Stoke called Ruby Girl (Real, Unique, Beautiful, You), based on Proverbs 31..'she is worth more than rubies'. It's loads of stuff on girly issues such as self esteem, body image, confidence, aspirations, that can be tailored to the needs of schools, colleges, churches, projects like Surestart etc. This is headed up by the amazing Dawn Deaville, but backed by associates such as Emma Owen, myself and more. Dawn has worked for years alongside teenagers, abused ladies, prostitutes etc, chatting to them, bringing them education; a place to hang out; food, etc, and this project will be no different.
The website is not up yet - (that's why we're having the photoshoot!), so I will keep you posted as information comes in, but after reading those statistics...even though written by an American, they apply to OUR teens, and we should be taking notice/asking what can we do about it.
Thanks so much for reading this post, even your awareness will bring about change...