Dating Violence

What is Dating Violence?


Dating violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner. The core of dating violence is power and control. Abusive words and actions are the tools that an abusive partner uses to gain and maintain power and control over their partner.

While the meaning of “dating partner” differs across generations and communities and the words used to describe intimate relationships change frequently, dating violence happens in all kinds of relationships – gay or straight, serious or casual, sexual or nonsexual, monogamous or non-monogamous, short-term or long-term.

Young people are affected by dating and domestic violence as both victims and witnesses.

Approximately 15.5 children are exposed to domestic violence every year. On just one day in 2013, 19,431 children were living in a domestic violence shelter or transitional housing program, and an additional 5,873 children received services and support from non-residential programs. One-quarter of high school age girls have been the victims of physical or sexual abuse. Women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of domestic and dating violence victimization. Let’s also remember boys and men can also be victims of dating and domestic violence.

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