National Survey of Teen Dating Violence Laws

At, we believe everyone, regardless of age or sexual orientation, should have access to the same legal protections when it comes to dating violence. These rights include seeking a protection order and accessing necessary health services. We also believe that schools play a key role in educating young people about dating violence and providing help to teens in abusive relationships.

How Does Your State Measure Up?

Each state treats young victims of dating abuse differently, but not all ways are equal. We conducted a nationwide review of state laws and found common trends -- both positive and negative -- that directly impact the protection of teens.

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  • Every state uses different terms to describe their laws. We used “protection order” because it’s the most common, but your state might call it a restraining, protection-from-abuse or peace order.
  • State laws are very complex. We couldn’t fit everything we wanted on one page, so we focused on the most important points for teens.
  • Many laws are not specific. We used “may” and “must” to distinguish between situations where a judge or doctor has a choice and situations where the law gives them no leeway.

If you have questions or are unsure how your state’s law affects you, chat with a trained peer advocate.


Download the entire report. Get every state’s report card and an explanation of what it all means.


Check Out Your State

Download individual State Report Cards: