Alberta dating violence
For a teen dating violence survivor, the inability to perceive risk as accurately or carefully as adults can also impede separation from an abuser.
In fact, only a little over one-third of teens who were abused ever disclosed their abuse.
For example, a teen victim may fear telling her parents about an abusive partner because of a prohibition on dating.
A foster youth may not disclose dating abuse because they fear being removed from their school-of-origin.
As a judge and a parent, it’s difficult for me to imagine that one in three girls that I saw in my court were likely to be physically, emotionally or verbally abused, according to a National Council on Crime and Delinquency report. It is by far the most prevalent form of youth violence.
Worse, it is violence experienced by young girls, including , from the ages of 12 to 18.
By the time a teen has reached your courtroom, she has interacted with a number of adults, all of whom portray themselves as authority figures.
It may help to ask yourself, “Did every one of those authority figures convey the same message as me?
In fact, exposure to domestic violence increases the likelihood that a youth will engage in delinquent conduct, according to Carolyn Smith and Terence Thornberry in , 25 child abuse & neglect 1037 (2001). As adults, we have had our entire life to develop positive, prosocial coping mechanisms.
As eloquently put by the National Institute of Mental Health report on the teen brain “…the brain does not begin to resemble that of an adult until the early 20s…the parts of the brain responsible for more “top-down” control, controlling impulses, and planning ahead—the hallmarks of adult behavior—are among the last to mature.” Likewise, teen dating violence is not identical to adult domestic violence.