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Sexual dating violence

Dating violence happens to people of all races, cultures, incomes, and education levels.

One NIJ-funded study examined the prevalence of dating violence among 5,647 teens (51.8 percent female, 74.6 percent Caucasian) from 10 middle schools and high schools (representing grades 7-12) throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. "Partner Violence Among Adolescents in Opposite-Sex Romantic Relationships: Findings from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health." 91 (October 2001): 1679-1685.

Findings indicated that within the past year: The study also specifically examined dating violence rates among teens who had dated within the past year (66 percent of total teens; n = 3,745).

It can occur in person or electronically and might occur between a current or former dating partner. Healthy relationship behaviors can have a positive effect on a teen’s emotional development.

Several different words are used to describe teen dating violence. Dating violence is widespread with serious long-term and short-term effects. Unhealthy, abusive, or violent relationships can have severe consequences and short- and long-term negative effects on a developing teen.

The Centre for Promoting Alternatives to Violence describes abusers as being obsessively jealous and possessive, overly confident, having mood swings or a history of violence or temper, seeking to isolate their partner from family, friends and colleagues, and having a tendency to blame external stressors.

Meanwhile, victims of relationship abuse share many traits as well, including: physical signs of injury, missing time at work or school, slipping performance at work or school, changes in mood or personality, increased use of drugs or alcohol, and increasing isolation from friends and family.

Dating violence includes: Dating violence often starts with emotional abuse.

You may think that behaviors like calling you names or insisting on seeing you all the time are a "normal" part of relationships.

Abuse can occur regardless of the couple's age, race, income, or other demographic traits.

There are, however, many traits that abusers and victims share in common.

Dating violence crosses all racial, age, economic and social lines.