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Dating violence is a prevalent public health concern and social problem characterized as controlling, abusive and threatening behavior in a dating relationship. Statistics indicate teens and young adults have a higher risk of being involved in relationship abuse in comparison to adults. This violence occurs in both heterosexual and same sex relationships and can include physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
1. Peer approval and inexperience in dating relationships are contributing factors to dating violence. Teens and young adults are more likely to engage in dating violence if it is regarded as a norm among their peer groups.
2. Gender stereotypes and a reliance on gender role expectations may also play a role in dating abuse by reinforcing male dominance and female passivity.
3. Additional issues can arise for youth of color if there are cultural or racial/ethnic differences and values that influence familial and societal responses towards relationship violence. Studies show that dating violence has serious consequences, both short and long-term. Victims with a history of dating violence are more susceptible to substance abuse, attempted suicide, eating disorders, and engaging in risky sexual behavior.
4. There is also higher likelihood that victims of dating violence will experience intimate partner victimization in adulthood.
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