ChooseRespect.org : Preventing Dating Abuse : Teens : Get the facts

Get the Facts...

Dating Abuse Statistics

Teen dating abuse is a HUGE issue. It is a problem that touches the lives of teens from all walks of life-black and white, rich and poor, big-city and country.

These statistics are about real people. They are scary when you consider that anyone can experience dating abuse. People like you, your brother or sister, your friend, or your classmate. Become familiar with these facts so you can talk about the issue with other people and be ready to do something.

  • About one in 11 teens reports being a victim of physical dating abuse each year.1 
  • About one in four teens reports verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse each year.2, 3
  • About one in five teens reports being a victim of emotional abuse.4
  • About one in five high school girls has been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.5
  • The overall occurrence of dating violence is higher among black (13.9%) than Hispanic (9.3%) or white (7.0%) students.6
  • About 72% of students in 8th and 9th grade report "dating".7 By the time they are in high school, 54% of students report dating violence among their peers.8
  • 1 in 3 teens report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, kicked, slapped, choked, or otherwise physically hurt by his or her partner.9
  • " 80% of teens regard verbal abuse as a serious issue for their age group.9
  • Nearly 80% of girls who have been physically abused in their dating relationships continue to date their abuser.9
  • Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend had threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a break-up10.
  • Almost 70% of young women who have been raped knew their rapist either as a boyfriend, friend, or casual acquaintance10.
  • Teen dating abuse most often takes place in the home of one of the partners10.


1 Lynberg MC, Eaton D, et al. Prevalence and Associated Health Risk Behaviors of Physical Dating Violence Victimization among High School Students. United States, 2003. Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report 2006 [In Press].

2 Foshee VA, Linder GF, Bauman KE, et al. The safe dates project: theoretical basis, evaluation design, and selected baseline findings. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 1996;12(2):39-47.

3 Avery-Leaf S, Cascardi M, O'Leary KD, Cano A. Efficacy of a dating violence prevention program on attitudes justifying aggression. Journal of Adolescent Health 1997; 21:11-17.

4 Ibid

5 Silverman JG, Raj A, Mucci L, Hathaway J. Dating violence against adolescent girls and associated substance use, unhealthy weight control, sexual risk behavior, pregnancy, and suicidality. Journal of the American Medical Association 2001; 286(5):572-9.

6 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Surveillance Summaries, May 21, 2004. MMWR 2004:53(No. SS-2). Available from URL: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/SS/SS5302.pdf .

7 Foshee VA, Linder GF, Bauman KE, et al. The safe dates project: theoretical basis, evaluation design, and selected baseline findings. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 1996;12(2):39-47.

8 Jaffe P, Sudermann M, Reitzel D, Killip S. An evaluation of a secondary school primary prevention program on violence in intimate relationships. Violence and Victims 1992; 7: 129-146.

9 Teenage Research Unlimited. Findings from study commissioned by Liz Claiborne Inc. to investigate the level of and attitudes towards dating abuse among American teenagers aged 13 to 18 [online] 2005 Feb [cited 2006 Mar 20]. Available from: URL: www.loveisnotabuse.com/statistics_abuseandteens.htm

10Rennison CM, Welchans S. Intimate partner violence 1993-2001. Washington (DC): Department of Justice (US), Bureau of Justice Statistics [online]; 2003 [cited 2006 Mar 20]. Available from: URL: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/ipv.pdf.