What is Dating Abuse?

Dating abuse is a pattern of abusive behaviors -- usually a series of abusive behaviors over a course of time -- used to exert power and control over a dating partner.

Every relationship is different, but the things that unhealthy and abusive relationships have in common are issues of power and control. Violent words and actions are tools an abusive partner uses to gain and maintain power and control over their partner.

One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence. 

Nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors.

Learn more about Dating Violence:

  • How can I tell if I'm in an abusive relationship?
  • What are the different types of abuse?
  • Take a relationship quiz.

Visit Love Is Respect and Break the Cycle for more information on Dating Violence. Speak to a peer advocate by calling 1-866-331-9474 or see text and online chat options here.