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Public Safety Legislation
Teen Dating Violence
In January of 1991 the state of Massachusetts expanded the restraining order law, 209A, to allow people in dating relationships
to take out STOP ABUSE, AND STAY AWAY ORDERS.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF TROUBLE?Strange behavior on the part of the abused is common.
Unexplained bruises, cuts and other injuries are warning signs of dating violence.
Skipping school, abusing drugs and alcohol, or the withdrawal from friends and fun times because of fear of a boyfriend´s anger could also be indications.
Difficulty with making decisions or is afraid of her boyfriend.
If bruises on arms or legs appear and are noticed the victim may offer excuses or try to change the subject.
WHY DO TEENS STAY IN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS?Many stay because they are involved in their first romantic and sometimes intimate relationship. They believe they would have failed if the relationship didn´t last long.
Some teens have a sense of inferiority when they are not involved in a dating relationship and will do almost anything to keep one. A sense of importance and belonging is derived from being in a relationship.
WHAT CAUSES THE PROBLEM OF ABUSE?Experts have determined many factors contribute to abuse, such as;
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT FORMS OF ABUSE?It is important to increase your awareness of the different forms of abuse and learn the warning signs that signal a relationship is both unhealthy and dangerous.
Violence is often the outcome of a continued pattern of unacceptable behaviors.
The forms of abuse include:
WHAT ARE SOME WARNING SIGNS FOR TEENS?Some ways to determine if your relationship is going down the wrong track are:
HOW DOES A VICTIM THINK IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP?The Relationship begins:
Most men who hurt their girlfriends DO NOT STOP.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?Support her courage and ask lots of questions to show you care.
In a gentle way, help her recognize the excuses he makes for his behavior.
Help her find counseling through a battered women´s center.
If your friend or child won´t listen to your suggestions, don´t get mad or give up on her, she may need you. Call a battered women´s center or the Plymouth County District Attorney´s Office victim witness hotline for advice.
NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE
PLYMOUTH COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
VICTIM WITNESS HOTLINE-508-583-3306
LOCAL BATTERED WOMEN´S PROGRAMS
WOMEN´S PLACE CRISIS CENTER-508-588-2041
SOUTH SHORE WOMEN´S RESOURCE CENTER
BROCKTON FAMILY & COMMUNITY RESOURCES
IF YOU ARE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP:Believe in yourself and remember that no one deserves abuse.
Confide in a trusted friend, parent, teacher or counselor.
Call a battered women´s program for help.
Create a SAFETY PLAN with the help of a battered women´s program advocate.
Get out of your relationship as soon as you have a plan that allows you to leave safely.
Plymouth County District Attorney´s Office
32 Belmont Street
Brockton, MA 02301