If you have been the victim of teen dating violence – or you know someone who has been hurt by teen dating violence – you may not know where to turn for help. In fact, statistics show that you may feel very alone and be inclined to keep the truth of your abuse to yourself. The reality is that teen dating violence is a serious and widespread problem and you are not alone. As a victim of teen dating violence, you have a variety of legal options available to you in the wake of your abuse. These options can help to ensure your future safety and hold your abuser accountable for his/her actions.
Reporting Teen Dating Violence Abuse
Call the police if you have been the victim of teen dating violence, or know someone who has been the victim of teen dating violence. Police will take all allegations of domestic violence and teen dating violence seriously and listen to your concerns. They will ask you a series of questions about the abuse and try to paint a detailed picture of your situation.
In many cases, they may ask if you would like to press charges against your abuser for assault, battery, or domestic violence. If you do, and the police have probable cause to execute an arrest warrant, they will begin the legal process necessary to file criminal charges against your abuser. If your abuser is charged with a crime they will face serious consequences for their actions, including possible jail time, fines, and a life burdened with a criminal record. This criminal record will make it tough for them to insert themselves into situations where they could potentially abuse others. When you ask the police to pursue criminal charges you are not only protecting yourself, but other potential victims.
File a Restraining Order
Are you a victim of teen dating violence and are legitimately afraid for your safety? You can ask your local court to issue a restraining order against your abuser. When a restraining order is issued, your abuser will be required to adhere to its terms without fault. This restraining order may prohibit your abuser from contacting you in person or by phone and/or require them to stay a certain distance from you at all times. If your abuser violates the terms of this restraining order they will face significant consequences, and may even be charged with a crime.
File a Personal Injury Claim
Sometimes teen dating violence can cause a victim to suffer significant injuries and harms. In California, you have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against your abuser to recover monetary compensation. The money you get from a personal injury lawsuit can help to compensate for:
- Medical bills
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Embarrassment, and more.
A successful lawsuit will not only allow you to recover the money you need to tend to your physical and emotional injuries, but will also let you hold your abuser accountable in the public eye. In some cases, making your abuser’s horrific conduct public can be just as devastating for their future as criminal charges. If you have been the victim of teen dating violence and are interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit, then contact a personal injury lawyer in your jurisdiction for more information.