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Exploratory Study of Juvenile Orders of Protection as a Remedy for Dating Violence

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2013
172 pages
This study of all orders of protection (OPs) obtained by teens in New York State due to dating violence in 2009 and 2010 intends to increase knowledge about this effort to prevent teen dating violence.

The findings suggest that OPs potentially constitute an important tool for protection from perpetrators of dating violence; however, without an accompanying network of supportive adults, including parents and school personnel, the expanded use of OPs as a strategy for preventing teen dating violence will remain limited. The study found that the implementation of New York's 2008 law that allows teens to obtain OPs as a remedy for dating violence is a "work in progress." Even the lowest estimates of teen dating violence (9.4 percent involving physical abuse) far exceed the number of OPs (1,200) requested for dating violence in the 2 years of study. Focus groups of teens at risk for dating violence found that teens were unfamiliar with the expanded law. In addition, the user group (teens who obtained OPs to prevent dating violence) formed for this study reported substantial barriers in obtaining orders, including being called "snitches" by their peers, fears that OPs would not restrain perpetrators, and ambivalence about undermining the abusive relationship. Most teens received only one or two temporary orders that lasted a month or so. Likely due to this limited duration, few respondents were charged with violating the orders; however, an analysis of arrest and police incident reports, as well as new petitions obtained by study petitioners, indicated that just over 25 percent of the respondents re-abused their victims from 1 to 3 years after the initial petition. Risk for re-abuse was associated with respondents being male, having a prior criminal record, and being a year or more older than their victims. 126 references and 15 appendixes with OP forms, extensive data tables, and other supplementary material

Date Published: April 1, 2013