What Are the Consequences of Teen Dating Violence?

Illinois teen dating partner abuse defense attorney

Relationship violence is not reserved for adult marriages. In fact, nearly 1.5 million high school students in America experience physical abuse from a dating partner each year. Although physical abuse receives attention, there are many other forms of abuse from which teens suffer. One in three adolescents in the United States is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner. The high use of technology has created new ways for boyfriends and girlfriends to abuse their partner.

Ways to Enforce Power and Control

Abuse has always been a means to have power and control over another person. By taking away the equality between both partners, the abuser can feel like he or she has the control in the relationship. The following are common abuse tactics used:

  1. Peer Pressure: Individuals, especially teens, are often driven by other people’s perception of them. Abusers will find a way to use this to their advantage. Whether it is through spreading lies and rumors or attempting to ruin someone’s reputation, peer pressure can drive teens to stay with their abusive partners to avoid public humiliation.

  2. Isolation: One of the most common ways to keep a partner under thumb is by isolating him or her from others. The abusive partner becomes his or her only “life source” and he or she loses a sense of independence. This can also keep him or her from recognizing how abusive their partner’s behavior really is. Without friends saying those actions are unhealthy, one can get lost in an abusive relationship without realizing it.

  3. Threats: Abusive partners will often use threats to keep their partners from leaving. This can include suicidal threats, threatening to hurt others, or physically harming the partner. This can keep a dating partner from leaving out of fear of the consequences. 

  4. Emotional Abuse: Playing mind games is one of the easiest ways to secure a solid hold on a partner. This can include putting the person down, calling him or her derogatory names, and making the partner feel crazy. The abuser once again becomes a life source that the partner feels that he or she cannot live without.

Legal Consequences for Teen Dating Abuse

There are two charges associated with domestic violence that teens may face in situations involving dating abuse. Domestic battery occurs when a person causes bodily harm to any family or household member and makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with one of those individuals. This is a Class A misdemeanor if an alleged offender has no prior convictions and a Class 4 felony for someone with a criminal record. For a misdemeanor charge, the offender could receive up to one year in jail, probation, fines, and possible counseling requirements. A Class 4 felony can result in up to three years in prison and additional punishments can be given based on the defendant’s criminal record. 

Aggravated domestic battery occurs when a person commits domestic battery and knowingly causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement. Strangling also brings a domestic battery charge up to an aggravated domestic battery charge. This is a Class 2 felony that can result in three to seven years in prison. 

Contact a St. Charles, IL Dating Abuse Defense Lawyer

If your teenage child has been accused of inflicting abuse on their boyfriend or girlfriend, it is important to understand the different types of criminal charges that may apply, as the legal consequences are severe. Such accusations are taken very seriously in Illinois and can lead to a dim future for those found guilty. At the Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC, we understand the ins and outs of both domestic violence issues and the juvenile court system. If your child is facing charges related to domestic violence, contact our Kendall County teen dating abuse defense attorneys at 630-232-1780 for a free consultation.