Legal consequences of dating violence
Unfortunately, Serena has not returned for necessary medical care, Sifuentes said.This is a common—and disheartening—problem for young victims of violence.Many victims return to toxic situations because they don’t think they have other options.
“She was so sad and so scared,” said Monica Sifuentes, my colleague and an adolescent medicine pediatrician at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, who treated Serena. Serena, who is Latina, isn’t currently in school or working. She knew her boyfriend was in a gang, but she said he was attentive and took care of her—at first. She broke up with him, and he became angry, punching her in her head, dragging her across the floor and choking her. Serena is a victim of dating violence, which is being recognized more often, especially among adolescent girls and young women.“Teen dating violence needs to be taken just as seriously as adult domestic violence “said Hannah Denyer, the prevention coordinator for Peace Over Violence.