Stories on dating violence
The dangerous effects of teen dating violence and sexual assault can significantly affect the rest of a teenager’s life if it is not prevented or stopped. Interpersonal and Physical Dating Violence among Teens.
Often when jurists hear these cases, we watch as the appropriate information is presented and the layers of the complex onion are peeled away.The Honorable Marshall Murray, Presiding Judge, Milwaukee County Family Court, recently wrote an article entitled “8 Things Judges Need to Know About Teen Dating Violence” which focused on victimized youth/teen survivors.Judge Murray informs the judiciary as follows: “(1) Don’t treat teen survivors like adult survivors; (2) Remember that teens think differently than adults; (3) Recognize the link between delinquency, substance abuse and teen victimization; (4) Think about culture; (5) Talk to your school system and keep the survivor protected; (6) Social media can be a medium for control and abuse in teen victims; (7) You can’t do it alone: Talk to community partners; and (8) Ensure the door to your court is open (and they know how to get there).” I have reviewed this outstanding guidance and will attempt to expound on Judge Murray’s wisdom with recommendations to attorneys on telling the story of teen dating violence to the juvenile and family court judges.Judges need assistance from attorneys and other professionals to gain a clear view into each case, to make the right calls regarding diversion and disposition, and to carefully and thoughtfully consider strategies for addressing the violence exhibited in these teenagers’ lives.Cases involving teen dating violence appear in court most frequently through the delinquency system, where the perpetrator of the violence is charged with an action that would be a crime if he or she were an adult.Attorneys for these teenagers have to identify evidence-based interventions for the perpetrators and for the victims so that these destructive violent behaviors do not progress beyond the first encounter with juvenile court, thereby redirecting the youths’ trajectory away from the adult criminal system.
Mental health and behavioral health experts should be utilized to evaluate the respective teenagers and their respective families.
Last week, the NCJFCJ published their first article in the series, “8 Things Judges Need to Know About Teen Dating Violence.” This post, written by the Honorable Willie J.
Lovett, Jr., Presiding Judge, Fulton County Juvenile Court, is a follow-up to that article.
Teen perpetrators and teen victims simply are not adults.
Even if they are modeling behaviors they have witnessed growing up, they are not adults.
Attorneys for these teenagers must dig deep into the factual context of the relationships and the violence by gaining their trust and understanding their stories.