Domestic violence can be any physical, emotional, sexual, or psychological action that one person uses to gain power or control over another.
Anyone, anywhere, regardless of age, race or gender, can be affected by intimate partner violence,
Despite tremendous progress, an average of three women in America die as a result of domestic violence each day. One in four women and one in thirteen men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.
The Affordable Care Act, offers new guidelines that will ensure women receive preventive health services without additional cost, including domestic violence screening and counseling. The Affordable Care Act also ensures that insurance companies can no longer classify domestic violence as a pre-existing condition.
Young women still face the highest rates of dating violence and sexual assault. In the last year, one in 10 teens have reported being physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend. One in five young women have been sexually assaulted while they’re in college.
1 in 10 teens have been physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the last year.
Women age 20 to 24 experience the highest rates of dating and domestic violence.
22% of college women have been victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse or threats of physical violence.
Over 11% of high school girls report having been physically forced to have sexual intercourse.
19% of women reported experiencing completed or attempted sexual assault since entering college.
84% of the college women who reported a sexual assault experienced the incident during their freshman or sophomore years.
85% of victims were assaulted by someone they knew, usually a fellow student.
Facts About Teen and Young Adult Dating Violence and Sexual Assault
Females ages 16-24 are more vulnerable to intimate partner violence than any other age group.
Almost 70% of female rape victims were first raped before the age of 25, and over 40% were first raped before age 18.
Young women age 16-24 are victims of rape at almost triple the rate of women age 25-34.
The number of teens physically hurt by a dating partner has not declined between 2001 and 2011. The same is true for the number of teen victims of sexual assault.
Consequences of Dating Violence
Teens who are victims are more likely to be depressed and do poorly in school.
They may engage in unhealthy behaviors, like using drugs and alcohol, and are more likely to have eating disorders.
Some teens even think about or attempt suicide.
One in three high school girls who have been abused by a boyfriend has become pregnant.
Teens who are victims in high school are at a higher risk for victimization during college.
Possible Indicators of Abuse
If you observe interactions between your teen/young adult and his or her partner that include controlling behavior, intimidation or verbal abuse, your son or daughter may be involved in an abusive relationship. Your teen/young adult may be the victim of dating violence if she or he:
Shows signs of depression or loss of confidence
Has noticeable changes in eating or sleeping
Worries about making a dating partner angry or jealous
Has suspicious bruises or injuries
Makes excuses for her or his dating partner’s bad behavior
The dating partner follows your daughter or son, shows up uninvited
Is scared of her or his dating partner
Has a dating partner who exhibits obsessive jealousy
Has to constantly respond to text messages, phone calls or other communication from her or his dating partner
Starts to do poorly in school
Loses interest in activities or hobbies that were once enjoyable
Avoids family and friends
Begins using alcohol or drugs
Suddenly changes how she or he dresses in order to cover injuries
Warning Signs of Abuse
Warning signs of an abuser include:
Excessive or threatening contact through text messages, phone calls or other forms of communication
Physical violence such as hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, etc.
Put downs and name-calling
Warning signs of someone being abused include:
Making excuses for a partner’s bad behavior
Fear of a dating partner
Isolation from family and friends
Loss of interest in activities and hobbies that were once enjoyable
Noticeable changes in eating or sleeping patterns, or alcohol or drug use
Loss of self-confidence
- Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women
- Violence Against Women (Office of Women’s Health)
- Dating Matters: Understanding Teen Dating Violence Prevention: Free online course fromVetoViolence.org available to educators and others working with teens. The 60 minute training video includes information on how to: understand teen dating violence and its consequences; identify factors that can place teens at risk for dating violence; and communicate with teens about the importance of healthy relationships;
- Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Resources: Hotline numbers and links to other resources on each topic from the Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women.
- Break the Silence: Stop the Violence: Video from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in which parents talk with teens about developing healthy, respectful relationships before they start dating.
Healthy Relationships: Information from GirlsHealth.gov on forming healthy relationships and working through problems in relationships.
- Relationship Safety: Questions and answers from GirlsHealth.gov to help understand how to spot an unhealthy relationship and what to do if you or a friend is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship.
- What is Rape?: Information from GirlsHealth.gov about what rape and sexual assault are, what you should know about date rape drugs, who you can call for help, and tips on how to protect yourself.
- Dating Violence Resources: Hotline numbers and a list of links to other resources from the Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women.
- Sexual Assault Resources: Hotline numbers and a list of links to other resources from the Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women.
- Sexual Assault Fact Sheet: Information from WomensHealth.gov on what sexual assault is, what to do if you’ve been sexually assaulted, where to go for help, how to lower your risk of sexual assault, and how to help someone who has been sexually assaulted.