Mon, 2013-08-26 10:09 � nosman
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a requirement that teachers incorporate age-appropriate education about teen dating violence for students in grades seven through 12. Additionally, school boards must adopt policy regarding the issue and determine how employees will respond to dating violence incidents. With new laws like this one pushing for greater awareness of teen dating abuse, knowing your rights could help make a difference not only towards changing policy, but also what to do if you are in an abusive relationship.
After Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), federal laws were put in place that make domestic violence a crime. Plus, it’s a federal crime in certain situations for domestic abusers to possess guns. However, states determine most of the other laws pertaining to dating violence, and not every state defines “dating violence” in the same way, or offers the same protections to minors.
Each state has laws that require certain individuals to report suspected child abuse to government authorities. This means teachers, health care professionals and others have to report abuse. In some states, dating violence is treated the same as child abuse, and in some it’s not.
Most states cover protection orders. They’re also known as restraining orders, protection peace, stay away or protection from abuse orders, depending on where you live. State laws vary on protection orders against minors. In some states, family court can issue a protection order against a minor, while in others, it has to be in the juvenile court. Some states do not allow protection orders against minors at all. Plus, the definition of these orders vary. In New Hampshire, it covers victims who have been sexually abused, threatened to be physically abused, stalked or harassed.
These orders are just one part of a support system, but they can be very powerful in helping a young person leave an abusive relationship. For example, a civil protection order is a judicial decree that restricts a person’s movements and activities towards another person, as well as prohibit someone from stalking, harassing or communicating to the other person in any shape or form. And if these things are violated, the restricted person can face criminal penalties, including jail time.