CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, October 3, 2008

Interpersonal and Physical Dating Violence Among Teens

The death of a 16 year-old girl, shot and killed by her

17 year-old boyfriend in Oakland, California, epitomizes

the potential of interpersonal violence to escalate to a

tragic extreme (Contra Costa Times, 2008). Exposure to

interpersonal violence often begins in early adolescence

and continues into adulthood (CDC, 2006). In the US

alone, approximately 1 in 3 adolescent girls (estimates up

to 35%) is a victim of interpersonal violence (Bonomi

& Kelleher, 2007; CDC 2006 & 2007; Marcus, 2005).

This Focus attempts to bring to light various aspects of

a little-studied issue of critical importance, especially to


Interpersonal violence is physical, emotional, or verbal

abuse by one partner towards another in a dating relationship.

It is referred to by a variety of names—relationship

violence, date


ghting, and intimate partner

violence—terms used interchangeably in this report.

This de


nition also includes any abusive behavior aimed

at controlling or hurting a dating partner and thus

includes threats and acts of intimidation (WomensLaw.

org, 2007; CDC, 2007). The physical aspect of interpersonal

violence—intentional hitting, slapping, or physically

hurting by a boyfriend or girlfriend—is referred to

as physical dating violence (PDV) and is emphasized in

the following report. [Mark Godsey]

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