Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Teen Dating Violence State Report Cards | New Jersey

So, as many of you may know, Break the Cycle has released its 2009 teen dating violence state report cards. If you don’t know, this report gives every state a grade based on the protection that its state laws give to teen victims of dating violence. If you want to see exactly what factors were considered when grading states – click on this link and go to page 6.

I am from New Jersey, so today I am going to look at how it scored – and why. You can follow this link to see the full report for New Jersey. If you open the link – you will see that New Jersey got a “C” – that might be average in school but it means that the law definitely needs improvement when teens’ safety is at risk.

Why did New Jersey get a C? Let’s look at one of the reasons: You can get a restraining order without parental involvement if you are under 18 (a good thing). However, it seems that in New Jersey you can only get a restraining order against someone who is 18 years old or over – this makes it almost impossible for someone to protect themselves against an abuser if he/she is under 18, and if the victim is under 18 it’s pretty likely that the person they were dating was too. It’s unsettling to think that a minor can only protect themselves against adults and not against other minors, when a minor can be just as dangerous as an adult. New Jersey, let’s change this!

I encourage you to look at your state’s grade and reflect on what it means, and what it would mean if you or someone you knew needed to get a restraining order and couldn’t. Share your state’s report card with everyone you know. Let’s make sure everyone gets the protection that they deserve!



  1. Online dating sites are not my cup of tea I know people who have met online and are completely happy. It works for some people.

  2. Thanks a lot for sharing this post.. This is my second review and i like it..