At loveisrespect.org, we believe everyone, regardless of age or sexual orientation, should have access to the same legal protections when it comes to dating violence.These rights include seeking a protection order and accessing necessary health services.We also believe that schools play a key role in educating young people about dating violence and providing help to teens in abusive relationships.

Dating violence crosses all racial, age, economic and social lines.

The Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness describes dating abuse as a "pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors used to maintain power and control over a former or current intimate partner." Individuals of all walks of life can find themselves in an abusive relationship.

Abuse can occur regardless of the couple's age, race, income, or other demographic traits.

Dating abuse or dating violence is defined as the perpetration or threat of an act of violence by at least one member of an unmarried couple on the other member within the context of dating or courtship.

It is also when one partner tries to maintain power and control over the other through abuse/violence.

This abuse/violence can take a number of forms: sexual assault, sexual harassment, threats, physical violence, verbal, mental, or emotional abuse, social sabotage, and stalking.It can include psychological abuse, emotional blackmail, sexual abuse, physical abuse and psychological manipulation.We conducted a nationwide review of state laws and found common trends, both positive and negative, that directly impact the protection of teens.Please be advised that this information is intended for informational purposes.We recommend contacting your local legal service provider to review your state laws and any updates or changes to the information provided.If you have questions or are unsure how your state’s law affects you, chat with a trained peer advocate. Get every state’s report card and an explanation of what it all means.