Teen Dating Abuse

Dating abuse is defined as the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional aggression within a dating relationship, including stalking. It is a pattern of behavior that one person uses over another person in a relationship in order to gain or maintain power and control over that person.

Dating abuse and intimate partner violence are typically not one-time incidents, but a pattern of abusive behavior (physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, financial, stalking, etc.) over time that causes fear and/or harm. As the pattern continues, the abuser uses manipulation and/or physical domination to maintain power and control over their partner.

Dating abuse can happen in casual dating as well as long-term relationships; it can happen in person or electronically. It can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, education, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion, or culture. While the vast majority of abusers are males and most victims are female, females can be abusers and males can be victims of dating abuse.

STATISTICS

  • Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
  • One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.
  • One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national average.
  • Among female victims of intimate partner violence, 94% of those age 16-19 and 70% of those age 20-24 were victimized by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18.
  • The severity of intimate partner violence is often greater in cases where the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.
-Taken from CDC and Love is Respect websites

For more information, please visit our TERA site for teens!