State Law Report Cards

Break the Cycle believes teen victims of dating violence deserve the same legal protections that adult victims of domestic abuse receive. Young victims should have access to the legal system and other sensitive services needed to ensure their safety.

Unfortunately, teens often face overwhelming obstacles to these basic legal protections, many of which are written into their states' laws.

To call attention to this critical situation, Break the Cycle created the State Law Report Cards. The Report Cards survey the civil domestic violence protection order laws of all fifty states and the District of Columbia, assessing their impact on teens seeking protection from abusive relationships.

2010 State Law Report Cards

Here are the highlights from the 2010 State Law Report Cards:

  • The new grading system, developed with the University of Minnesota, more accurately assesses the law's responsiveness to the unique needs of teen and young adults.
  • The expanded Report Cards include information on minors' access to sensitive services and school response to dating violence through policy or prevention education.
  • We created new supplemental Report Cards for Teens with information about seeking a protection order and the availability of other necessary services.

Does Your State Make the Grade?

AlabamaFKentuckyFNorth DakotaD
ColoradoCMichiganCRhode IslandA
ConnecticutCMinnesotaBSouth CarolinaF
DelawareBMississippiBSouth DakotaF
District of ColumbiaAMissouriFTennesseeB
IdahoCNew HampshireAVirginiaF
IllinoisANew JerseyBWashingtonA
IndianaBNew MexicoBWest VirginiaB
IowaCNew YorkBWisconsinD
KansasCNorth CarolinaCWyomingC

Thank you to the attorneys of Latham and Watkins, LLP and the University of Minnesota researchers who generously gave their time to this project.

If you know of a change in your state’s law, please let us know. Email us at [email protected].

2011 State Law Report Cards

We will not be updating the State Law Report Cards for 2011. We are taking this opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of the Report Cards and determine how to make them an even more valuable resource for advocates and policymakers. Check back soon for news about the future of the State Law Report Cards.

Note: There may have been changes to your state's laws since the 2010 State Law Report Cards were published. If you have questions about how your state's laws have changed, please consult a local attorney or email Break the Cycle.

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