Teen Dating Violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used to exert power and control over a dating partner. Calling dating violence a pattern doesn't mean the first instance of abuse is not dating violence, it just recognizes that dating violence usually involves a series of abusive behaviors over a course of time.

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 high school students nationwide

experience physical abuse from a

dating partner in a single year.

Every relationship is different, but the one thing that is common to most abusive dating relationships is that the violence escalates over time and becomes more and more dangerous for the young victim.

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What does Dating Violence Look Like?


‚ÄčToo Common

  • 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.

Why Focus on Young People?

  • 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.