Sample of Key Findings

Today, Break the Cycle, the nation’s leading dating abuse prevention organization, releases its 2010 State Law Report Cards: A National Survey of Teen Dating Violence

“Lawmakers must pass legislation to safeguard all victims of abuse – regardless of their age or sexual orientation,” said Marjorie Gilberg, Executive Director of Break the Cycle. “We are so pleased to see state leaders taking action to help protect young victims but there is still a long way to go if we are serious about ending teen dating violence.”

Sample of Key Findings

  • New Hampshire (A) receives the highest score because it is the only state which allows minors of any age to petition for protection orders without parental involvement.
  • Arizona (B) and the District of Columbia (A) improved their laws since last year’s report. Arizona now allows people to qualify for protection orders if they are in a dating relationship with their abuser. In DC, teens as young as 12 can now petition for protection orders without parental notification.
  • Ohio receives an F in the 2010 Report, but Governor Ted Strickland recently signed into law a bill mandating violence prevention education in schools and clarifying the state’s restraining order statutes, allowing minors and people in dating relationships to legally protect themselves. Changes take effect later this year and will be reflected in the 2011 Report.
  • Pennsylvania (D) is considering a bill mandating violence prevention education in schools. Though not a factor in the 2010 grades, this statute could work in their favor for the 2011 report.
  • Kentucky (F) has pending legislation, House Bill 30, that would allow victims of abuse in dating relationships to access protection orders. If the bill passes, Kentucky’s grade could rise to a B, based on Break the Cycle’s current metrics.

Did Your State Make the Grade?

Congratulate your state leaders on their good work or urge them to do more! HOPE members, use our sample letters to get started. Need HOPE? Join today and help ensure all young people get the protection they need from abuse.

-Published on April 6, 2010