Dating Abuse Law and Legal Definition

Dating abuse is defined as the threat of an act of violence or actual violence by at least one member of an unmarried couple on the other member during dating or courtship. It also occurs when one partner tries to gain control over the other through violence or abuse. It may take different forms such as : sexual assault sexual harassment, threats, physical violence, verbal, mental, or emotional abuse, social sabotage, and stalking. It is also known as dating violence.

The following is an example of a federal statute defining the term ‘dating violence:’

According to 42 USCS § 13925 (8), the term dating violence means “violence committed by a person--

(A) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and

(B) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:

(i) The length of the relationship.

(ii) The type of relationship.

(iii) The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.”