Legal consequences of dating violence

Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been a well examined and documented phenomenon in adults; however, there has not been nearly as much study on violence in adolescent dating relationships, and it is therefore not as well understood.

The research has mainly focused on Caucasian youth, and there are yet no studies which focus specifically on IPV in adolescent same-sex romantic relationships.

By contrast, boys are more likely to report experiencing less severe acts, such as being pinched, slapped, scratched or kicked.

Girls are more likely to report committing less serious forms of IPV, including as a means of self-defense, whereas boys are more likely to report committing more severe acts of IPV, including threats, physical violence and controlling a partner.

While dating, domestic and sexual violence affect women regardless of their age, teens and young women are especially vulnerable.

There is a common misconception that aggression is stable over time.The literature on IPV among adolescents indicates that the rates are similar for the number of girls and boys in heterosexual relationships who report experiencing IPV, or that girls in heterosexual relationships are more likely than their male counterparts to report perpetrating IPV. stated that, unlike domestic violence in general, equal rates of IPV perpetration is a unique characteristic with regard adolescent dating violence, and that this is "perhaps because the period of adolescence, a special developmental state, is accompanied by sexual characteristics that are distinctly different from the characteristics of adult." Wekerle and Wolfe theorized that "a mutually coercive and violent dynamic may form during adolescence, a time when males and females are more equal on a physical level" and that this "physical equality allows girls to assert more power through physical violence than is possible for an adult female attacked by a fully physically mature man." Regarding studies that indicate that girls are as likely or more likely than boys to commit IPV, the authors emphasize that substantial differences exist between the genders, including that girls are significantly more likely than boys to report having experienced severe IPV, such as being threatened with a weapon, punched, strangled, beaten, burned, or raped, and are also substantially more likely than boys to need psychological help or experience physical injuries that require medical help for the abuse, and to report sexual violence as a part of dating violence.They are also more likely to take IPV more seriously.A survey conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited stated that "[10] percent of teens have been threatened physically via e-mail, IM, text messaging, chat rooms, etc." A 2008 meta-analysis, which examined 62 empirical research studies between 19, relating to domestic violence in heterosexual intimate relationships from adolescence through to adulthood in the United States, reported on research findings that consistently show that adolescent females commit significantly more acts of domestic violence in intimate relationships than adolescent males.It stated, however, that the "data also suggest that females who commit acts of domestic violence may experience more violent or frequent IPV victimization than males" and that "[t]he highest rates [for female-perpetrated IPV] were found for emotional violence, followed by physical and sexual violence.

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