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The prevalence of dating violence varies by study, depending on the definition of violence used and the age of respondents.

The 1993 Violence Against Women Survey (VAWS) found that 16% of women had experienced physical or sexual violence in a dating relationship since the age of 16.

Over 8 in 10 victims of violence in dating relationships were female.

This rate was similar for both current and former boyfriend/girlfriend relationships.

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by Tina Hotton Mahony Prevalence of police-reported dating violence Victims of dating violence most likely to be female Differences in rates of dating violence between the sexes decline with age Increase in police-reported rates of dating violence Common assault most likely offence in dating violence Similar proportion of male and female victims of dating violence sustained injuries More than 4 in 10 incidents of dating violence occur in the victim's home Dating violence involving female victims more likely to lead to charges Homicides perpetrated in dating relationships Summary Methodology Detailed data tables References Notes According to results of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY), approximately 71% of youth in Canada report being in a dating relationship by the age of 15.

Note: Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.

Excludes incidents where the sex and/or age of the victim was unknown.

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According to police-reported data, those between 30 and 39 years of age were at highest risk of being victims of dating violence and these rates declined steadily with age (Chart 2).

Among female victims, the highest rates of dating violence involved victims between the ages of 30 and 34 (591 per 100,000 unmarried population), while for males it was 35 to 39 years of age (132 per 100,000 unmarried population).

Chart 1 Females most likely victims of dating violence, 2008 Description 1.