Dating violence definition and statistics
The devastating physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime.
For anonymous, confidential help available 24/7, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).
Abusers frequently continue to stalk, harass, threaten, and try to control the victim after the victim escapes.
In fact, the victim is often in the most danger directly following the escape of the relationship or when they seek help: 1/5 of homicide victims with restraining orders are murdered within two days of obtaining the order; 1/3 are murdered within the first month.2 Unfair blame is frequently put upon the victim of abuse because of assumptions that victims choose to stay in abusive relationships.
Witnessing violence has been associated with decreased school attendance and academic performance. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report.
Further, teenage victims of dating violence are more likely than their non-abused peers to smoke, use drugs, engage in unhealthy dieting (e.g., taking diet pills or laxatives, vomiting to lose weight), engage in risky sexual behaviors, and attempt or consider suicide. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Teen dating violence is defined as the physical, sexual or psychological/emotional violence within a dating relationship, as well as stalking.
It can occur in person or electronically and may occur between a current or former dating partner.
Abuse may begin with behaviors that may easily be dismissed or downplayed such as name-calling, threats, possessiveness, or distrust.
The truth is, bringing an end to abuse is not a matter of the victim choosing to leave; it is a matter of the victim being able to safely their abuser, the abuser choosing to stop the abuse, or others (e.g., law enforcement, courts) holding the abuser accountable for the abuse they inflict.
For anonymous, confidential help available 24/7, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) now.
Domestic violence does not always end when the victim escapes the abuser, tries to terminate the relationship, and/or seeks help.
Often, it intensifies because the abuser feels a loss of control over the victim.