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.
- 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!