Dating violence definition and statistics

What may start out as something that was first believed to be harmless (e.g., wanting the victim to spend all their time only with them because they love them so much) escalates into extreme control and abuse (e.g., threatening to kill or hurt the victim or others if they speak to family, friends, etc.).

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A 2009 study of sixth-grade students found that 25% thought it was acceptable for boys to hit their girlfriends.

More than one fourth of the boys with girlfriends said they had been physically aggressive (punching, slapping) with her.

Emotional and psychological abuse can often be just as extreme as physical violence.

Lack of physical violence does not mean the abuser is any less dangerous to the victim, nor does it mean the victim is any less trapped by the abuse.

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.

It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse.

It is not always easy to determine in the early stages of a relationship if one person will become abusive. Abusers may often seem wonderful and perfect initially, but gradually become more aggressive and controlling as the relationship continues.

Abuse may begin with behaviors that may easily be dismissed or downplayed such as name-calling, threats, possessiveness, or distrust.

Witnessing violence has been associated with decreased school attendance and academic performance. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report.

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