The report on state laws by Break the Cycle, a teen-violence prevention organization that has worked with the Justice Department, gave A grades to only five states.
Grades were based on various comparisons between the legal treatment of adult victims of domestic violence and teen victims of dating violence. Failure was automatic for states where protective orders are unavailable for minors, or where dating relationships are not explicitly recognized as valid for obtaining such orders.
National surveys have estimated that one in three youths experiences dating abuse at some point during their teens — incidents ranging from a slap on the cheek to homicide. Despite the high rate of abuse, Break the Cycle and other advocacy groups say too many states do not treat dating violence with appropriate seriousness. Break the Cycle contends that all young people over 12 should have the right to petition for protection on their own behalf and that domestic violence protection orders should be available even against abusers who are minors.
The new report gives states lower grades if their laws block minors from seeking protective orders on their own, without parental involvement. They may have strained relations with their parents or come from a home where domestic violence already is occurring. Rates of women who are opting for preventive mastectomies, such as Angeline Jolie, have increased by an estimated 50 percent in recent years, experts say.
But many doctors are puzzled because the operation teenage dating laws carry a percent guarantee, it's major surgery -- and women have other options, from a once-a-day pill to careful monitoring.
Korobov, a former prosecutor in Indianapolis and Loudoun County, Va. The report commended New Hampshire as the only state where the law specifically allows minors of any age to go to court by themselves to request a protection order.
But she said awareness-raising efforts were making headway in several states. For example, in Ohio, teenage dating laws, which got a failing grade, Attorney General Richard Cordray and some lawmakers have been promoting a bill this year that would allow juvenile courts to issue protection orders for minors in dating relationships.
The bill was inspired in part by the plight of Radioisotope dating Orozco, a Cleveland teenager who was shot in the face by her year-old ex-boyfriend in and has had numerous operations.
Orozco wanted to get a protection order, but Ohio juvenile courts cannot issue them against minors. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Your year-old son is dating a year-old female classmate — no big deal, right? Take, for example, the widely publicized case of Marcus Dwayne Dixon, an year-old high school honor student and star football player who had sex with a year-old female classmate. She claimed it was rape, he claimed it was consensual, and a jury acquitted him of the charges. However, because of their age difference, the jury still found Dixon guilty of statutory rape and aggravated child molestation, and sentenced him to a mandatory 10 years in prison under Georgia law.
He walked out of prison on May 3, , at age 19, a free man. Prior to his court case and conviction, Dixon had been offered a full football scholarship at Vanderbilt University, which was revoked after his arrest.
Upon his release from prison, Dixon enrolled at Hampton University in Virginia with a football scholarship. The Dixon case is just one in a long line of similar legal battles teens have faced in the last decade. A Hot Topic Among Teens The recent discovery that year-old actress Jamie Lynn Spears, the sister of pop star Britney Spears, became pregnant by her year-old boyfriend has again turned consensual sex among teens into a hotly contested issue.
Parents, particularly those with teenage daughters, certainly have cause for concern. Research shows that teenage girls tend to have their first sexual experience with male partners who are three or more years older. But do these dangers warrant laws that put young people in prison? Romeo and Juliet Make a Comeback Statutory rape is defined by the FBI as non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is younger than the statutory age of consent. The statutory rape laws vary greatly from state to state, with more than half of the states setting the legal age of consent at 16 other states range from 14 to For the most part, there is no single age at which a person can consent to sexual activity.
Only 12 states set a specific age ranging from 16 to 18 , while in the majority of states, the age of consent depends on multiple factors, including the ages of each partner and the number of years between them.
The purpose behind most statutory rape laws is to punish grown adults who take sexual advantage of a minor. The following are just a few examples of Romeo and Juliet laws currently in place in the United States:. Exceptions and Other Considerations In addition to Romeo and Juliet laws, some states have specific exemptions when both parties to the sexual act are minors, or the person to be charged is legally married to the minor.
However, there are still restrictions in some states about the type of sexual activity that is permissible, such as oral sex and sodomy, as well as restrictions on relationships involving a minor and a person of authority, including teachers, coaches, or tutors. All states have special provisions if any physical force was used or serious physical injury resulted. Until recently, statutory rape laws applied only to females, ignoring situations involving sex between an adult female and underage male.
Today, most laws are gender neutral, and a number of women in authority positions such as Mary Kay Letourneau, Debra Lafave, Pamela Rogers Turner, and Pamela Smart have been prosecuted for engaging in sexual relationships with younger males. Does the Punishment Fit the Crime? While many states have strict statutory rape laws on the books, prosecutors have been inconsistent in enforcing them, says Mark Chaffin, a researcher with the National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth.
One particularly shocking case drew international attention when year-old Georgia resident, Genarlow Wilson, was charged with aggravated child molestation and sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a year-old girl.
Georgia law, which has since been changed to classify this act as a misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of one year in prison, also required Wilson to register as a sex offender when he was released. Are Statutory Rape Laws Outdated? Statutory rape laws are based on the premise that although young girls may want to have sex, they may not have enough experience or discernment to make a mature, informed decision.
The laws are designed to protect young people who have less information and power than their and-over counterparts. For example, minors may be less likely than adults to understand sexually transmitted diseases, have access to contraception, and have the resources to raise a child if they become pregnant.
Most people believe there is a clear line between young people wanting to date and have sex, and adults molesting or assaulting a child. And most would agree that the difference between intimacy and abuse should be reflected in the laws of each state.
But not all parties agree on how strict the laws should be. Critics of strict statutory rape laws argue that while sexual relationships between teens relatively close in age may be morally questionable, prosecuting every case would unnecessarily clog up the justice system. But advocates of more diligent enforcement of statutory rape laws believe that the laws help combat the often underreported and hard-to-prove sexual abuse and rape of young girls.
Others add that imprisoning men who are convicted of the crime could have a significant impact on teenage pregnancy and birth rates. Know the Laws in Your State Dating is a normal part of teenage life. But with the privilege of dating comes serious responsibilities. As a parent, you have to set boundaries and rules and take middle school and high school relationships seriously. If you suspect that your child is sexually involved with someone under the age of 18, talk to your child about the potential consequences and seek the advice of an attorney who is familiar with the laws in your state.
Start your recovery today by searching for treatment centers below. My Son Is Dating a Minor: The following are just a few examples of Romeo and Juliet laws currently in place in the United States: In New Jersey, the age of consent is 16, but individuals who are at least 13 years of age can legally engage in sexual activities if their partner is less than 4 years older than them. In the District of Columbia, it is illegal to engage in sexual intercourse with someone who is under the age of 16 the age of consent if the defendant is 4 or more years older than the victim.
According to Louisiana law, it is a misdemeanor for someone aged 17 to 19 to have consensual sex with someone aged 15 to 17 if the difference between their ages is more than two years. California law declares it a misdemeanor to have sex with someone younger than 18 if the offender is less than three years older; someone more than three years older could be charged with a felony. Find a Treatment Facility.
The new rules for teen dating may be daunting — and surprising — but they are very real and, whether today’s parents like it or not. Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime. Teens often think some behaviors, like teasing and name-calling, are a “normal” part of a relationship. However, these behaviors can become abusive and develop into more serious forms of violence. Teen dating violence is widespread. Mylol is currently the #1 teen dating site in the US, Australia, UK and Canada. We are proud to have a teen dating mobile app. Join now and .
Richards Only a handful of states have responded to teen dating violence with laws enabling the young victims to obtain protection orders on equal terms with adults, a . Jun 09, · Seven Rules for Teen Dating. A parent's first line of defense against teenage sex and unplanned pregnancy is establishing firm rules in regards to assettracker.info: Better Homes & Gardens.