About Dating Violence

Dating violence is a pattern of controlling and/or abusive behaviors in a romantic relationship. Dating violence includes physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse, or any combination of abuses. Dating violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and socioeconomic background. 

Domestic violence occurs in dating relationships as well as marriages. People, particularly young people, are dating longer than in previous generations. As people get married later in life. dating violence will continue to rise. Given the prevalence of domestic violence within these dating relationships and a shift in the structure of relationships today, communities must work together to ensure that victims of dating violence have access to resources and an increase in legal protection.

Get Help with Dating Violence

National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline

  • 1-866-331-9474
  • 1-866-331-8453 (TTY)

Dating Violence Laws and Bills

Federal law and many state laws define domestic violence as abuse perpetrated by a current or former spouse, co-habitant, or co-parent. This leaves dating partners without protections afforded to other current or former intimate partners, including access to protective orders and protection from gun violence.