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