The present study aims at expanding our understanding of violence in intimate relationships by comparing dating and married couples.
The relevance of the study of violence in dating relationships is mainly concerned with three aspects: the magnitude and immediate impact on victims, their fragility and vulnerability, and the fact that dating violence can potentiate more serious aggression (such as physical and sexual violence) .
A sample of 3,716 participants, aged 15 to 67 years, filled in one attitudinal questionnaire and a self-report instrument on abuse perpetration and victimization.
Attitudinal data revealed a general disapproval of violence use, with greater violence support among males and married participants.
So far, the few available studies have produced somewhat contradictory results.
For instance, Frias and Angel  found that single women reported more victimization than married women, but Brown and Bulanda  obtained higher victimization levels in married partners, both men and women.Regarding violence in married couples, the World Report on Violence and Health , based on information collected in 38 countries, places rates of lifetime prevalence at between 10% and 76%.