What is Teen Dating Violence?
Teen Dating Violence is a pattern (or a one-time experience) of emotional, verbal, sexual, or physical abuse used by one person in a current or past dating relationship to exert power and control over another when one or both of the partners is a teenager. Abuse may include insults, coercion, social sabotage, sexual harassment, stalking, threats and/or acts of physical or sexual abuse. The abusive partner uses this pattern of violent and coercive behavior to gain power and maintain control over the dating partner. This may also include abuse, harassment, and stalking via electronic devices such as cellphones and computers, and harassment through a third party, and may be physical, mental, or both.
In Teen Dating Violence relationships, there is…
- The Survivor – A person who is hurt physically, sexually, verbally or emotionally by a dating partner.
- The Abuser – A person who physically, sexually, verbally or emotionally hurts a dating partner.
- The Bystander/Observer – A person who is aware someone is being abused in a dating relationship. The bystander may become aware of the abuse by directly observing physical, emotional or sexual violenceOR through second-hand information.
Every Student has Rights:
- Right to be treated with respect and dignity. This includes not being blamed by staff and/or students (referred to as survivor blaming), and not spreading rumors or retaliating against the survivor.
- Right to be informed of his/her options with regard to notifying law enforcement authorities, and to be assisted in notifying such authorities. To the extent state and federal law allow, survivors must make a voluntary and informed decision to notify authorities.
- Right to be free from pressure not to report crimes to civil or criminal authorities. This includes the right to be free from pressure to report a crime as a lesser offense than the survivor perceives, and the right to be free from any suggestion that a survivor somehow contributed to his or her own victimization by contributory negligence, or by assuming the risk of being assaulted, or by otherwise sharing the responsibility for what is alleged to have occurred.
- Right to have any violence committed against him/her investigated by the proper civil and criminal authorities. This right is in addition to, and independent of, school disciplinary proceedings.
- Right to full and prompt cooperation from school personnel in obtaining and securing evidence necessary for any potential criminal/civil proceedings. Failure to fully and promptly cooperate to the extent possible may be considered a form of retaliation against the survivor.
- Right to be informed of any disciplinary actions taken against the offender. Knowing about subsequent disciplinary actions, such as suspension or expulsion, helps survivors with safety planning.
- Right to attend classes and to work in an environment free from unwanted contact or proximity with alleged assailants insofar as the school is able to provide. To the extent possible, survivors and alleged perpetrators should be separated on campus. This might involve changing class schedules or having the parties agree to stay a certain number of feet away from each other in a Stay-Away-Agreement.
- Right to be free from violence at school. All students have the right to an education in a safe school environment. The school will take affirmative steps to prevent and respond to dating violence or abuse that occurs both on and off campus.
- Right to transfer from school. Survivors of teen dating violence or abuse have a right to transfer to another school. A survivor’s decision to transfer to another school must be informed and voluntary. The offender will generally be required to transfer whenever there is a choice between transferring the survivor or the offender.
- Right to be free from sex discrimination and sexual harassment. All students have the right to be free from sex discrimination and sexual harassment at school. Dating violence or abuse are forms of sexual harassment. Please contact the Title IX Coordinator, Ashley Thirstrup, to report any sexual harassment.
- Right to referrals for services. Survivors of teen dating violence or abuse have the right to have access to counseling, medical services, and survivor support services both on and off-campus. The District shall refer the survivor of teen dating violence or abuse to a community-based advocate. The District will maintain a list of domestic violence/dating violence/sexual assault agencies and services in the community and make this list available to survivors. Participation in any referral program is voluntary for survivors.
The following types of abuse can result in a protection order:
If someone has been physically abused, sexually abused, attempted or threatened to have been physically abused, stalked and/or unlawfully held another person against his/her will, a protection order may be obtained for the survivor’s safety.
How do teens get a protection order?
- If a teen qualifies for a protection order, they may go to court and file for a temporary order, which lasts for 15 days.
- If the judge schedules a hearing, they can grant a permanent order that lasts as long as the judge orders.
- Contact your local domestic violence center for more information and assistance with applying for a teen dating violence protection order.
- Many local domestic violence centers can assist with this process.