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    Dating abuse is a pattern of behavior that one person uses over another person in a dating relationship in order to gain or maintain power and control over that person.

Dating abuse and domestic violence are typically not one-time incidents, but a pattern of abusive behavior (physical, sexual, verbal, and/or emotional) over time that causes fear and/or harm. As the pattern continues, the abuser uses emotional manipulation and/or physical domination to maintain power and control over his or her partner.

Dating abuse can happen in casual dating as well as long-term relationships. Teen dating abuse does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, education, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion, or culture. While the vast majority of abusers are males and most victims are female, females can be abusers and males can be victims of dating abuse.


  • Approximately one in three adolescent girls in the US is a victim of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner.
  • 47% of teens (age 13-18) have personally been victimized by controlling behaviors from a dating partner.
  • One in four teens in a relationship say they have been called names, harassed or put down by their partner through cell phones and texting.
  • Women age 16-24 experience the highest rates of rape and sexual assault.

Sources: (1) Liz Claiborne Inc. & Family Violence Prevention Fund (2009); (2) Davis, Antoinette (2008); (3) Liz Claiborne Inc. & TRU (2007); (4) Rand, Michael (2009).

For more information, please visit our TERA site for teens!

Advocates work directly with victims of domestic violence to address all areas of concern. Call 303.772.0432
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Safe Shelter provides safety, support and resources to individuals affected by domestic abuse. We promote empowerment through direct services and community education, advocating for the right of every individual to live a life free of intimidation, exploitation and abuse.

Our vision is provide the tools to empower our community to break the cycle of domestic violence. To stay focused on this vision, we are guided by values that define us. Those values include:

  • Treat All with Dignity & Respect.
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