This article is a supplement to the National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month coverage featured on page 12. The following information is excerpted from the Ohio Teen Relationship Violence Guide provided by the Ohio Domestic Violence Network.
Teen relationship violence has only received attention in recent years and our knowledge about it is still evolving. As of this writing, Ohio is among just a handful of states where teen relationship violence prevention is mandated in the schools and where teens can petition for protection orders in juvenile court.
The Teen Relationship Violence Resource Guide (http://www.odvn.org/training/Documents/doc-teen-relationship-violence.pdf) represents our best understanding of teen relationship violence and how to respond to it at this time, but many lessons still lie ahead.
Teen Relationship Violence is a pattern of actual or threatened acts of physical, sexual, financial, verbal/emotional abuse, sexual or reproductive coercion, social sabotage, and/or sexual harassment perpetrated by an adolescent against a current or former partner or a person with whom the teen has some kind of intimate relationship. The goal of these behaviors is to achieve and maintain power and control over the victim. Teen relationship violence can affect any teen, male or female, straight or gay, in a serious or casual, past or present relationship. Any teen can be a victim of relationship violence, but the risk, incidence, severity, lethality and effects of victimization are more significant for females.
Relationship violence among teens is pervasive and the consequences can be life‐changing.
The dynamics of power and control found in adult domestic violence are also present in teen relationship abuse. These usually include a combination of physical abuse and emotional abuse, economic abuse, monitoring and controlling, and stalking, often combined with sexual assault or coercion and threats to harm or kill the victim/survivor or those close to her.
Domestic violence, among both adults and teens, involves a pattern of behaviors aimed at establishing and maintaining power and control over one partner by the other. Power and control may involve controlling who the victim sees, how money is spent, and it often involves isolation. When the victim/survivor resists or begins to plan for or attempt to separate, danger typically escalates. Over time, abusive relationships tend to escalate in frequency and severity.
On June 17, 2010, Ohio law began allowing juveniles to obtain Civil Protection Orders (CPO) in Juvenile Court when they experience violence in their relationships by other teens (Oh. Rev. Code § 2151.34.)
The petition must include an allegation that an abuser under the age of 18 committed certain behaviors such as assault, stalking, a sexually oriented offense, threats to harm, or aggravated trespass. The petition can be filed by the teen survivor, a parent or adult family or household member. The court may approve other parties who may file, at its discretion. When the offender is under the age of 18, these cases are filed and heard in Juvenile Courts, which retain jurisdiction throughout the life of the case. In cases against offenders over the age of 18, petitions are filed in the Common Pleas Court for a Stalking CPO if the parties are not family or household members (Oh. Rev. Code § 2903.214), or in Domestic Relations Court, if the parties are family or household members (Oh. Rev. Code §3113.31.)
There is no fee to file a petition seeking this relief. The victim can request an ex‐parte hearing (a hearing without the abuser) which must be held no later than the next day the court is in session. If a protection order is issued at the ex‐parte hearing, the court must schedule a full hearing to be held within 10 court days. The respondent is served with notice of the full hearing and is given a right to be heard at that hearing. It is best to have an attorney assist in filing these cases, and to talk to a legal advocate from a domestic violence or sexual assault program.
If a CPO is granted against a teen abuser, it is in effect until the offender reaches the age of 19. When the offender turns 19 years old, the record is automatically sealed unless the CPO has been violated. However, even if the CPO has been violated, the record may still be sealed. Under specific conditions, certain parties may be able to access sealed records.
See event photos and additional facts about National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month on page 12.