To learn more about Teen Dating Violence, select one of the links on the right or contact: Claire Lisco PADV Teen Empowerment Advocate Claire.
The victim was a 19-year-old Native American woman.
She had come to court requesting her protection order be dismissed.
In my case, many of the children I worked with were Native youth.
As a judge, I remember presiding over a heart-breaking case in my civil protection order calendar.
Her mother, a chronic alcoholic, suffered years of horrific domestic abuse from her father and was unable to care for them.
The young women told me that she and her brother were adopted.Her mother had died; her sister had lost rights to three children due to chemical dependency and domestic violence. The young lady eventually returned to the Twin Cities area outside the reservation, and ended up in a violent relationship where she physically assaulted and emotionally tortured.This young woman’s story, and her request for dismissal of a protection order are all too common among native youth and young adults.The abuse, in her mind, “wasn’t that bad,” and her boyfriend was sorry.This minimization is heavily influenced by exposure to domestic violence.The statistics of domestic violence involving teen are staggering. In one study by the Center for Disease Control, the rate of teen dating violence rate among high school students in Alaska’s Native communities is 13.3%, nearly 4% higher than the national average of 9.8%. Further studies suggest that American Indians are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault crimes compared to all other races, and one in three Indian women report having been raped during her lifetime. In the child protection system, America Indian children are more likely than other children to be identified as victims of abuse. Indian children experience child abuse and neglect at a rate of 12. children. This means that Indian families are nearly twice as likely to have allegations of abuse be investigated; twice as likely to have allegations of abuse substantiated; and four times likely to have their children be placed in out of home care. Identification of domestic abuse by teens can be more challenging because of minimization.