DA – Definition

Defining Dating Abuse


Teen dating abuse is an intentional pattern of behavior that one person uses over another person in a dating relationship in order to gain or maintain power and control over that person.

Dating abuse can happen in casual dating as well as long-term relationships. It can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, education, religion, race-ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or culture.


Facts and Statistics

  • Approximately 1 in 3 U.S. teenagers are victims of dating abuse every year.
  • 47% of teens (age 13-18) have personally been victimized by controlling behaviors from a dating partner.
  • One in four teens in a relationship said they have been called names, harassed or put down by their partner through cell phones and texting.

Sources: (1) Liz Claiborne Inc. & Family Violence Prevention Fund (2009); (2) Davis, Antoinette (2008); (3) Liz Claiborne Inc. & TRU (2007); (4) Rand, Michael (2009).

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