Legal Momentum’s National Judicial Education Program Announces New Educational Materials on Teen Dating Violence

Legal Momentum’s National Judicial Education Program Announces New Educational Materials on Teen Dating Violence

Date: 
February 11, 2016
Media Contact: 

Jean Gazis, 212-413-7558, jgazis@legalmomentum.org

Lynn Hecht Schafran, 212-413-7518, lschafran@legalmomentum.org

In conjunction with Teen Dating Violence Month 2016, happening this February, Legal Momentum is pleased to announce the release of a new set of educational materials for judges, courts, court-related professionals, schools, parents, teens, and the community to learn about the dangers and consequences of Teen Dating Violence. The information and resources sheets were developed by the National Judicial Education Program (NJEP), Legal Momentum’s award-winning judicial education project, with funding from the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women.*

“Teen Dating Violence” (TDV) is a scourge that is as epidemic, harmful, and potentially lethal as adult domestic violence. Unchecked TDV can entrench a lifetime pattern of perpetration by abusers and acceptance of abuse by victims.

TDV encompasses a broad range of abusive behaviors perpetrated in relationships between teenagers aged 11-19. Like the perpetrators of adult Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), TDV perpetrators exert power and control over their victims. TDV is just as dangerous as IPV, and TDV perpetrators use the same abusive behaviors as adult abusers. However, TDV differs from IPV or Domestic Violence in that adolescent perpetrators may also use different mechanisms than adults to control their victims, particularly social media. It is also important to note that the very definition of “dating” differs for adolescents—many teens believe that TDV is only perpetrated in long-term, romantically and physically intimate relationships. If their relationship does not fit that model, they may not view their relationships as “serious enough” to look for signs of abusive behavior in their partners. It is also important to note that teens may have difficulty recognizing that they are being abused.

The rapidly growing awareness of TDV presents an opportunity for judges, courts, and court-related professionals to protect victims, intervene with perpetrators, and educate the communities they serve on their role in prevention. The teen years are a period of peak learning capacity and potential for change. These 11 Information Sheets provide an introduction to many of the issues involved in TDV and its intersections with other areas of the law, and the Resources Sheet is a compilation of useful resources about teen dating violence for judges, courts, schools, parents, teens, and the community. The sheets are:

  • The Dynamics and Consequences of Teen Dating Violence
  • The Teenage Brain: New Knowledge from Neuroscience
  • Use of Social Media in Teen Dating Violence
  • Use of Social Media in Teen Dating Violence: Glossary
  • Use of Social Media in Teen Dating Violence: Technology “How-Tos” for Judges
  • LGBTQ Issues in Teen Dating Violence
  • LGBTQ Issues in Teen Dating Violence: Glossary
  • Orders of Protection for Victims of Teen Dating Violence
  • Holding Teen Dating Violence Offenders Accountable
  • Teen Dating Violence: The Need for Judicial Leadership
  • Teen Dating Violence: Resources for Judicial Leadership (Resources for the Courts, Schools, Parents, Teens, and the Community)

These information and resources sheets are available free of charge at: www.legalmomentum.org/njep-resources-teen-dating-violence. Although you may use these materials without obtaining NJEP’s permission, please share with us the ways you are using them via email at njep@legalmomentum.org, via Twitter (@LegalMomentum), or via Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/legalmomentum).

*This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-TA-AX-K043, awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions and recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

About Legal Momentum

Legal Momentum is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1970 to advance the rights of women across the nation by using the power of the law and creating innovative public policy in three broad areas: economic justice, freedom from gender-based violence, and equality under the law. Successful initiatives include drafting and helping to pass the Violence Against Women Act and its subsequent reauthorizations; judicial education programs on the realities of sexual assault, domestic violence, and their intersection; and representing women who have been subjected to discrimination with precedent-setting litigation. For more information visit www.legalmomentum.org.

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