BY: Katie Marasco, esq

In a typical domestic violence case, where the victim seeks some legal protection from her abuser, the victim may get a protective order against the abuser. However, when minors are involved it isn't so easy for the victim. Many states don't even allow a minor to obtain a protective order and often they may not be able to get one against another minor or they may have to meet certain requirements. Parental permission is often required, along with other requirements making the process inconvenient and even extremely difficult in some states. What kind of message does this send to minor victims? Their abuse isn't as important?

It seems to me that minors are in the most difficult position as they may have an even harder time knowing the proper course of action to take against an abuser. So why are states making it even more difficult for them to protect themselves? Teen domestic violence is not only serious but it's prevalent. 1 in 5 teens who have been in a serious relationship report having been hit, shoved or otherwise physically abused by a significant other.

You might ask, "what is a protective order anyway?" A protective order is a civil court order which requires an individual named in the order to act or refrain from acting in certain ways towards the person who obtains the order. For more information on protective orders seek advice from an attorney in your area. See lawinfo for attorneys in your area.

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