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What is dating violence?

Dating violence is abusive and violent behavior in a dating type relationship.  It can be a long term or short term affiliation.  It reflects the perpetrator’s desire to control and dominate the victim.  It can happen in both heterosexual and homosexual connection.  It covers a wide range of behavior that includes verbal, emotional, sexual, and physical violence and abuse.

Incidence of University Dating Violence

  • 32% of university students report dating violence by a previous partner and 21% report violence by their current partner.
  • In 39%-54% of dating violence cases victims remain in the physically abusive relationships.
  • 60% of acquaintance rapes on university campuses occur in casual or steady dating relationships.
  • An estimated 5% of university women experience a completed or attempted rape in a giver year.
  • In one year, more than 13% of college women indicated they had been stalked (42% by a boyfriend or ex-boyfriend).
  • 51% of university males admit perpetrating one or more sexual assault incidents while attending a university.

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.

Reporting Victimization

  • 50% of dating violence victims will report the violence to someone else: of these, 88% report the violence to a friend and 20% to law enforcement.
  • 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 most reasons given for not reporting the violence.

Examples of verbal or emotional abuse:

  • name-calling
  • threats
  • screaming
  • yelling
  • ridiculing
  • criticizing
  • emotional blackmailing
  • stalking

Examples of sexual abuse:

  • 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
  • rape

Examples of physical abuse:

  • shoving
  • punching
  • slapping
  • pinching
  • hitting
  • kicking
  • hair pulling
  • choking
  • use of a weapon
  • any other acts causing physical harm