Protection Orders

Protection orders are one of the most effective legal tools to help someone escape an abusive relationship. Help change dangerous laws that do not include those who are dating or only allow those who are 18 years-old or older to obtain one. Check out our State Law Report Cards to get started.

Targeted Services

Young victims of abuse have different problems than adults — whether it’s switching dorms, telling their parents or accessing the courts. Help meet their needs by advocating for policies that fund:

  • Free, targeted help services for youth
  • Training for systems that serve youth (like shelters, courts, schools) so they can be sensitive to the needs of teens and young adults
  • Batterers’ intervention programs that are designed for young people and that don’t require a court order to attend

Parental Involvement

Not everyone has a great parent. Some young people cannot involve their parents because of physical or emotional abuse in their homes. Others may fear parental anger, disappointment or punishment. Mandatory parental involvement laws do not help provide solutions for family communication — in fact, they can exacerbate a potentially dangerous situation. While these laws may have the best intentions at heart, they often discourage young people from getting any help at all. Advocate for lawmakers to let youth:

  • Disclose dating violence to counselors without triggering mandatory reporting laws
  • Access healthcare for relationship abuse without parental consent, including the Crime Victims’ Compensation program
  • Get restraining orders without parental involvement

Community Collaboration

Parents, schools, media, young people, community leaders — we all have an important role in protecting young people and preventing abuse. Let’s make sure we have the resources to work together by advocating for policies that fund:

  • Schools to collaborate with community advocates in developing and implementing comprehensive policies
  • Training for community leaders, teachers and parents on how to educate youth about dating violence and model healthy relationship skills
  • Youth activism and peer education programs that focus on healthy relationship skills
  • Prevention campaigns that bring advocates and media sources together to promote healthy relationships and discourage abusive behaviors