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An intercultural study in 31 universities from 16 countries showed that the rate of physical assault of dating partners in the previous 12 months ranged from 17% to 45% .
This great disparity and variability in the indicators of the prevalence of violence has been mainly attributed to different methodological options employed by studies (e.g., [8, 9]), including a lack of a clear definition of violence; the type of abuse measured and the great variety of instruments used in the measurement of violent behavior; sampling bias, including overrepresentation of the student population, particularly university students; the time period evaluated, such as during the previous year or lifelong; and the use of self-report measures of respondents.
For instance, in a large national sample composed of 4,667 participants, a significant number of students from various educational levels and age groups reported violent behaviors in their relationships (30.6% global perpetration, 18.1% physical, and 22.4% emotional) .
The levels of violence found in the latter study  are somewhat higher than those reported in a study of a representative sample of married Portuguese couples, which used the same instruments (26% global perpetration, 12% physical, and 24% emotional) .
The results of these investigations, however, all highlight violence in intimate relationships as an important phenomenon deserving attention in itself.
Data collected in Portugal, although sparse, confirms that dating violence is a significant social problem.
As for the United States of America, researchers  found rates of lifetime prevalence ranging from 17.4% to 25.5%.
With respect to dating violence, research has also produced a wide variation of results, suggesting prevalence rates of offenders or victims ranging from 12.1%  to 72.4% .
Similarly, a recent literature review in the European context reported high rates of victimization over lifetimes, varying from 16% to 39% .
Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, University of Fernando Pessoa, Praça 9 de Abril, 349, 4249-004 Porto, Portugal Received 17 April 2014; Revised 13 July 2014; Accepted 29 July 2014; Published 28 August 2014Academic Editor: Julianne C. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
This study examines the attitudes about intimate violence and compares the prevalence of abuse reported by married and dating participants, by type of abuse and sex of respondent.
Some of these studies are quite dated , however, use small samples , specific samples (e.g., , who used a low income female sample), or make comparisons based on different measures .
Gender differences are one of the most debated topics when analyzing the literature on marital or dating aggression.