Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month: Raising Awareness
Abusive and unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime. Teenagers think behaviors like name-calling and teasing are normal when it comes to dating. These behaviors may develop into much more serious forms of abuse and could eventually lead to acts of domestic violence.
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. To raise awareness, the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone is committed to helping victims of different kinds of relationship abuse get the help they need. With thirty years of experience protecting domestic abuse victims, we will ensure that your voice is heard and that you are never hurt again.
What is Teen Dating Violence?
Teen dating violence can be defined as physical, psychological, emotional, or sexual abuse that occurs in a relationship or past relationship between two teenagers. This abuse can happen in person or electronically; either through texting, social media, and a variety of dating apps (Tinder, Bumble, and many others).
Teenagers who are victims of dating violence don’t typically report the abuse because they are afraid to tell their family and friends. They might be afraid of what their loved ones will think of the situation or what their loved ones will do to the person abusing you.
According to a 2017 report, eight percent of high school students reported that they were victims of physical violence and seven percent said they experienced some type of sexual violence from someone they are currently or were previously dating. The same report also states that 26 percent of females under the age of 18 were victims of sexual violence, physical violence, and stalking.
Effects of Teen Dating Violence
When teens are victims of dating violence, they may suffer from serious short-term and long-term effects. These effects could be physical or mental, stunting a teenager’s emotional development. Teens who are affected by abuse may:
- Suffer from anxiety and depression
- Start using drugs and alcohol to cope with the abuse
- Develop antisocial behaviors
- Have suicidal tendencies
- Have a higher risk of being abused as an adult
This abuse is happening more and more to teenagers because dating violence has been normalized in our society. Teens are peer pressured by what they see adults do, along with what they see in the media, to act a certain way. There is a much better way to act on feelings of aggression rather than abuse your partner, such as communicating your emotions and feelings with them.
New Jersey Laws Concerning Teen Dating Violence
If you are a teenager suffering from domestic violence, New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act may protect you if you are in a “dating relationship” under the age of 18. Aside from that, this law only protects teen domestic abuse victims if the court considers the teen to be an emancipated minor. Protection for minors typically comes in the form of a restraining order.
There is a special circumstance though – stalking. Teen victims who have a stalker are almost always granted a restraining order for immediate protection. When there aren’t any special circumstances and it’s just two teenagers involved in some type of dating violence situation, a juvenile court will take the case and not a family court.
Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone
Are you a victim of teen dating violence and need legal help? It’s time to speak up. For more than thirty years, the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone has been helping to protect the rights of domestic violence victims no matter how young or old they are. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.