The Problem >
- Dating violence is abusive and violent behavior in dating relationships.
- It reflects the perpetrator's desire to control and dominate the victim.
- It happens in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships.
- It covers a wide range of behavior that includes verbal and emotional abuse,
sexual abuse, and physical violence.
Incidence of College Dating Violence
- 32% of students report dating violence by a previous partner, and 21% report
violence by a current partner, and 21% report violence by a current partner.
- 39%-54% of dating violence victims remain in physically abusive relationships.
- 12% of completed rapes, 35% of attempted rapes, and 22% of threatened rapes
occur on a date.
- 60% of acquaintance rapes on college campuses occur in casual or steady
- An estimated 5% of college women experience a completed or attempted rape
in a given year.
- In one year, more than 13% of college women indicated they had been stalked,
42% by a boyfriend or ex-boyfriend.
- 51% of college males admit perpetrating one or more sexual assault incidents
Influence of Alcohol and Drugs
- 75% of men and 55% of women involved in acquaintance rape had been drinking
or taking drugs prior to the incident.
- 50% of dating violence victims report the violence to someone else: of these,
88% report the violence to a friend and 20% to criminal justice authorities.
- 44% of victims raped by a steady boyfriend or spouse report the assault,
compared to 77% of victims raped by a stranger.
- The beliefs that dating violence is a private matter or not important enough
and fear of reprisal are reasons given for not reporting the violence.
Dating Violence and the Law
- All 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws against dating violence
behaviors such as sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking. However,
the specific term “dating violence” is almost never used in these
- In 39 states and the District of Columbia, victims of dating violence can
apply for protective orders against the perpetrator. Age requirements and
the language of the laws vary by state.
Verbal or emotional abuse
includes name-calling, threats, screaming, yelling, ridiculing, criticizing,
emotional blackmailing, and stalking
includes verbal sexual abuse such as sexual slurs or attacks on the victim's
gender or sexual orientation, unwanted sexual touching and kissing, intimidation
to force the victim to engage in any kind of sexual activity, and rape
includes shoving, punching, slapping, pinching, hitting, kicking, hair pulling,
choking, use of a weapon, and any other acts causing physical harm
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