Pa laws on dating violence
Break the Cycle believes that all teens over the age of 12 should have the right to petition for protection on their own behalf and that domestic violence protection orders should be available against minor abusers.At loveisrespect.org, we believe everyone, regardless of age or sexual orientation, should have access to the same legal protections when it comes to dating violence.Whereas the more frequently used term “domestic violence” applies to violence that occurs between family or other household members, “dating violence” is more generally defined as violence between individuals who currently have, or have had in the past, a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.Florida courts determine whether such a relationship exists based on the following factors ( Florida Statute §784.046(1)(c)(2014)):(1) Whether a dating relationship existed within the past six months; (2) Whether the relationship was characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties; (3) The frequency and type of interaction between the individuals, which must have included involvement in the relationship over time and on a continuous basis.Teens between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rates of abuse--above any other age group.Break the Cycle believes that minor teens should be able to access the same legal protections as adult victims of domestic violence, including civil domestic violence protection or restraining orders, and that state domestic violence laws should explicitly state the rights and responsibilities of minors under the law.Each state treats young victims of dating abuse differently, but not all ways are equal.We conducted a nationwide review of state laws and found common trends, both positive and negative, that directly impact the protection of teens.
Break the Cycle, the nation's leading expert on teen dating violence, gave Pennsylvania a "B" grade in it's national report card for the state's laws relating to helping teen victims of intimate partner violence.
24 states "failed" the test (with a "D" and "F") when it came to protecting teens, according to Break the Cycle's standards. The testing standards are based on restrictions on the age of the victim who can petition, age of the abuser, who can petition for the protection order, nature of the relationship, and restrictions on laws protecting same sex-couples in abusive relationships. According to the report "one in three teens will experience some form of abuse in a dating relationship.
Teens who suffer from abusive relationships exhibit increased rates of substance abuse, high-risk sexual behaviors, eating disorders and suicidality.
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This section contains user-friendly summaries of Pennsylvania laws as well as citations or links to relevant sections of Pennsylvania's statutes.Please be advised that this information is intended for informational purposes.