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Dating Violence

Dating abuse is defined as the physical, sexual, or psychological/emotional violence within a dating relationship.

Research & Statistics

  • The Connecticut School Health Surveyhe Connecticut School Health Survey (CSHS) is comprised of the Youth Tobacco Component (YTC) (PDF) and the Youth Behavior Component (YBC) (PDF). These two school surveys have been co-administered since 2005. The YTC is a school-based survey of students in grades 6 - 12, with randomly chosen classrooms within selected schools, and is anonymous and confidential. The YBC is also a school-based survey of students, but only of high-school grades 9 - 12 and it, too, is anonymous and confidential.

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Dating abuse is defined as the physical, sexual, or psychological/emotional violence within a dating relationship. Each year, 1 in 11 adolescents reports being a victim of physical dating abuse (CDC 2006). There are three common types of dating abuse:

  • Physical abuse occurs when a teen is pinched, hit, shoved, or kicked.
  • Emotional abuse means threatening a teen or harming his or her sense of self-worth. Examples include name calling, teasing, threats, bullying, or keeping a teen away from friends and family.
  • Sexual abuse is forcing a teen to engage in a sex act. This includes fondling and rape.

A young person who suffers emotional abuse may become insecure, destructive, angry, or withdrawn. He also may abuse alcohol or drugs.

The ultimate goal is to stop dating abuse before it starts. Strategies that promote healthy relationships are vital. During the preteen and teen years, young people are learning skills they need to form positive relationships with others. This is an ideal time to promote healthy relationships and prevent patterns of dating violence that can last into adulthood. Prevention programs address the attitudes and behaviors linked with dating abuse. Community efforts such as parenting support and mentoring programs have also been shown to prevent violence.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention