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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. 4 out of 5 girls who have been physically abused continue to date their abuser. Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime. During the years of adolescence young people are exploring and learning about relationships. About 72% of 8th and 9th graders are “dating”, without an understanding of healthy and unhealthy behaviors in dating relationships, young people are especially susceptible to becoming trapped in a cycle of dating violence. 

Common Statistics

Consequences of Teen Dating Violence

  • 1.5 million high school students in the United States each year have reported being physically abused by a dating partner. 

  • 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.

  • 43% of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors.

  • College students are not equipped to deal with dating abuse – 57% say it is difficult to identify and 58% say they don’t know how to help someone who’s experiencing it.

  • One in three (36%) dating college students has given a dating partner their computer, email or social network passwords and these students are more likely to experience digital dating abuse.

  •  One in six (16%) college women has been sexually abused in a dating relationship.

The consequences of dating abuse could be detrimental to a young person’s physical and emotional well-being. Teens who are abused are subject to long-term consequences like alcoholism, eating disorders, promiscuity, thoughts of suicide, and violent behavior. Teens who are abused by a dating partner are more likely to be in abusive relationships as adults.


  • Only 33% of teens who were in an abusive relationship ever told anyone about the abuse.

  • 82% of parents feel confident that they could recognize the signs if their child was experiencing dating abuse, a majority of parents

  • 58% could not correctly identify all the warning signs of abuse.

Teen dating abuse is a major issue yet over 80% of parents reportedly either don't know if teen dating abuse is a concern or believe that it is not an issue.

Although young men can be victims of dating violence the majority of victims are young women, and the majority of perpetrators are young men.

LGBTQ+ and Dating Violence 

  • 43% reported being victims of physical dating violence, compared to 29% of heterosexual youth.

  • 59% reported emotional abuse, compared to 46 % of heterosexual youth.

  • 37% reported digital abuse and harassment, compared to 26% of heterosexual youth.

  • 23% reported sexual coercion, compared to 12% of heterosexual youth.

Happy Couple
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