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Despite the fact that rates of partner abuse by males and females are similar, women report more injuries and a greater negative impact as a result of their male partners' physical aggression (Ronfeldt 72).Studies consistently show that it is women who are disproportionately likely to sustain serious injury.Many battered women report that they were first assaulted by their husbands during courtship (Simons 467).Women, more than men, appear to bear the brunt of courtship violence.Some significant negative consequences are emotional harm, feelings of victimization, and fear of further violence (Barnett, Miller-Perrin, Perrin 164).
Sexual and non-sexual physical abuse also co-occur in many abusive relationships (Browne, 1987; Mahoney & Williams, 1998; Walker, 1984), and, as with emotional abuse, sexual and non-sexual abuse often are combined elements of a single abusive incident (Bergen, 1996; Browne, 1987; Finkelhor & Yllo, 1985; Russell, 1990; Walker, 1984).This romantic process typically begins during adolescence and extends throughout the adult life span. Department of Justice noted that women aged sixteen to twenty-four were most vulnerable to intimate partner violence. Furthermore, such early unhealthy dating relationships have far-reaching consequences.Society generally views dating as carefree, romantic, and trouble free, yet this is far from the truth. In addition, females who were physically abused by a date during adolescence were more likely to experience dating violence during their freshman year in college. Adolescent girls who disclosed being physically or sexually abused by a boyfriend were twice as likely to smoke, drink, use illegal drugs, and engage in behavior indicative of an eating disorder (e.g., binging and purging).In extreme cases, abusive behavior ends in the death of one or both partners, and, sometimes, other people as well. Frequently, however, abuse continues or worsens once a relationship is over.This can happen whether the relationship is ended by just one of the partners or, seemingly, by mutual consent.