New Study Shows Domestic Abuse Common Among Dating Teens

domestic abuseStudy Reveals Teens Perpetrate “Domestic” Abuse Against Partners, Split Equally Along Gender Lines

According to a new study, more than one-third of teenage guys and girls say that they have been emotionally, sexually, or physically abused in a relationship, creating interesting questions about domestic abuse potential among teenagers.

The nationwide study showed something interesting and counter-intuitive as well: females were as likely, and potentially more likely, to be abusers as males.

The study showed that, out of 1,058 youths ages 14 to 20 surveyed, 41% of girls and young women and 37% of boys and young men said they had been victims of dating abuse; 35% of girls and 29% of boys said they had physically, emotionally or sexually abused a partner. The survey also found that 29% of girls and 24% of guys said they had been both victims and abusers, in the same or different relationships.

In contrast, the National Dating Abuse Hotline reported that, in 2012, 94% of abuse victims were female, and just 6% were male.

According to Katie Ray Jones, president of the dating abuse helpline and the National Domestic Abuse Hotline, abused girls may be more willing to seek help: “There’s a lot of stigma about boys and men reaching out when they are victims.”

The findings were presented on Wednesday, July 31st, at the Honolulu meeting of the American Psychological Association, shed light on this new form of early domestic violence. Researchers and educators both are eager to stop violence problems early, before they turn into criminal domestic violence later in life.

Like adults in domestic abuse situations, teenagers often find it difficult to recognize when they are in an abusive relationship. Loveisrespect.org offers some warning signs. If your partner does any of the following:

• Checks your cellphone or e-mail without permission

• Constantly puts you down

• Is extremely jealous or insecure

• Has an explosive temper

• Isolates you from family or friends

• Makes false accusations

• Physically hurts you in any way

• Tells you what to do

• Repeatedly pressures you to have sex

Then you may be in an abusive relationship that could lead to domestic violence, and you should seek help. The dating abuse line offers 24-hour help by online chat (at loveisrespect.org), text (text “loveis” to 22522) or phone (1-866-331-9474), is aimed at young people of both genders.

Domestic Abuse and Criminal Domestic Violence Charges in South Carolina

Prosecuting domestic abuse, referred to legally as criminal domestic violence or CDV, is a top priority in South Carolina. There are 46 dedicated  criminal domestic violence prosecutors, one for each of the state’s forty-six counties. Criminal domestic charges are heard in a separate domestic abuse court in Richland and Lexington Counties.

Perpetrators of domestic abuse may or may not understand what they are doing.  In the heat of an argument, an angry spouse can contact the police leading to an arrest even if the call is placed to gain an advantage in a divorce or custody proceeding. An officer responding to the call may identify who they deem to be the primary aggressor; if a physical injury is noted, no matter how slight, the call can end with someone going to jail.

A minor situation may be misunderstood and blown way out of proportion, resulting in an arrest. Even when the situation cools down and the victim is against pressing charges, the damage is done.

The Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm Can Defend Domestic Abuse Charges

Founded by former US Attorney, Pete Strom, the Strom Law Firm has an in-house private investigator who will help gather all the evidence you need to successfully fight your criminal charges. We also have experienced South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys who will develop a strategic, well-formulated defense.  The Defense Attorneys at The Strom Law Firm will make sure you know what to expect and how to best protect your freedom.

Do not let criminal domestic abuse or violence charges destroy your reputation and careerWe offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact the Strom Law Firm today for help. 803.252.4800.