Domestic Abuse Among Teenagers Research Paper

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1820 Words
Date:  2022-03-29


Teenage domestic violence refers to the physical, psychological, or sexual abuse among teenagers. It is a form of abuse can lead to lifelong mental problems and maladaptive behavior including alcohol and substance abuse. However, the issue is one of the most unrecognized and underreported in the society (Fiket et al., 2012). Existing frameworks and efforts towards addressing domestic abuse majorly focus on violence between two adults or between an adult and a child. In this case, violence between two teenagers has been ignored, or there exist little efforts to solve the issue. Indeed, the lack of efforts to curb the vice is evident from the lack of policies and legislation to directly address the issue (Newton & Gerrits, 2011). The Child Abuse Act of 1974 presents the closest law towards addressing domestic violence among teenagers although its primary focus is on abuse by an adult towards a child. There is an imperative need for more strategies that will incorporate teen domestic violence into the Child Abuse Act.

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Goals and Objectives of the Child Abuse Act

The Child Abuse Act was signed in to law in 1974 by President Nixon. The purpose of this Act was to provide enough funding to aid in the prevention, identification, and treatment of abused and neglected children. It authorized research on strategies aimed at the reduction of child abuse and improvement of treatment and care of victims of violence (Eckenrode, Smith, McCarthy, & Dineen, 2014). Through the years, the legislation has been amended to fit the modern socio-economic issues and while it has succeeded in several, it has completely neglected the issue of teen domestic violence and the effects it poses on the society.

One of the objectives of the Child Abuse Act is to increase societal awareness and education about child abuse and enlighten individuals on the most effective strategies for prevention, treatment, and intervention (Crosson-Tower, 2017). The act defines a child as any individual below the age of eighteen years. Therefore, there is a need for the society to understand the safety and security issues all children including teenagers. Another objective of the Child Abuse Act is to increase community coordination and communication pertaining child abuse (Farrell et al., 2017). Co-ordination involves networking with relevant organizations tasked with the protection of the lives and interests of the target group. The primary goal of the Child Abuse Act is the protection of minors regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds.

Considering the number of cases involving teen domestic violence in the society, it is evident that many people still do not understand the aspects that constitute to this form of domestic violence or the influence substance abuse can have on abusers (Farrell et al., 2017). Research studies have focused on intimate partner violence while ignoring much teenage domestic violence as evident from the little data that exists about the latter, and therefore, this aspect remains unknown to many. Based on the above, Child Abuse Act should be reviewed, or new legislation introduced to ensure the society is made aware of the existence of this form of abuse.

Forms and Benefits to be Delivered

The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act aims at protecting children and minors between the ages of 0-18 years of age (Fiket et al., 2012). The legislation offers several services of safeguarding children and minors from physical, emotional, and psychological forms of abuse. However, to reduce the number of victims of teen domestic violence, this policy must include strategies aimed at enough creating awareness.


Studies conducted by several scholars have linked stigmatization to all forms of abuse. The studies show that children and minors with a history of abuse are more likely to engage in alcohol and substance abuse (Farrell et al., 2017). A study conducted by the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network showed that most cases of abuse perpetrators are individuals close and well-known by the victims- a factor that discourages the abused from reporting the attacks (Fiket et al., 2012). Lack of intervention, treatment, and counseling leads to stigmatization, which in turn leads to more pressing social issues. The legislation must be reviewed to include strategies aimed at reducing cases of teen domestic violence.

Adequacy, Equity, and Efficiency

The policies of the Child Abuse Prevention and Protection Act apply to all American and non-American persons below the age of eighteen and residing in the United States (Newton & Gerrits, 2011). It also aims to protect children from all socio-economic grounds. The legislation should also aim at reducing cases of racial or gender prejudice during the treatment, prevention, and intervention processes.

Fit with the Social Problem Analysis

Even with the government and non-governmental policies in place, studies have shown an overwhelming number of child abuse cases, including teen domestic violence in the modern society. Research also shows that teenagers involved in alcohol and substance abuse are more likely to attack their friends and spouses in their adulthood (Eckenrode et al., 2014). The legislation should aim at reducing the number victims of teen domestic violence by ensuring the conviction of abusers as well as educating the society on issues that influence cases of child abuse and strategies that can be used to protect the lives and the future of the younger generation.

Eligibility Rules

Statistics show that one in every five teenage girls is assaulted by a close male friend or a boyfriend in their lifetime (Fiket et al., 2012). More studies have shown that compared to men, women are more likely to experience sexual violence (Crosson-Tower, 2017). However, these findings do not nullify the existence of violence towards young teenage boys. With this in mind, the Child Abuse Act should focus equally on both sexes.

Target Efficiency

As mentioned, both sexes are at risk of facing teen domestic violence. Therefore, the legislation should implement strategies aimed at educating both girls and boy the essence of maintaining healthy social and sexual relationships and the effects posed by domestic violence in the society (Newton & Gerrits, 2011). The responsibility of protecting teenagers from this form of abuse should be a priority for all members of the community.


Following decades of racial discrimination and police profiling, studies show that members of the minority groups are in most cases, less co-operative with officials from the justice system (Eckenrode et al., 2014). In the event cases of child abuse, members of this group are more likely to remain uncooperative for fear of alienation from the community. The legislation must ensure that all members of the society are legally forced to assist the police and other members of the society in the event of the teen domestic violence case.

Overwhelming Costs

In most cases, pursuing a child abuse case in a court of law incurs overwhelming costs regarding fees needed to hire a competent and skilled lawyer. Child abuse cases require a lot of time because of the child hearsay process, which can require litigation of several hearings and several witnesses to determine the evidence to be used in court (Farrell et al., 2017). Good lawyers are expensive, and the costs required to pursue a successful case can be too high, especially for individuals with low economic incomes. The government, through the Child Abuse Act, should help victims unable to raise legal fees.

Administration and Service Delivery Structure

The legislation is used by various organizations involved with children's rights. Examples include Voices of American Children, Child Welfare League of America, Youth Justice Coalition, National Safe Place, Children's Rights Service, and Lawyer for Children, among others. Implementation of this legislation requires the involvement of government, non-governmental entities, and all members of the society. All involved parties must understand the effects of abuse on the future of the victims, the community, and the nation. The government must ensure enough resources towards the implementation of strategies aimed at protecting children and minors from abuse. To ensure that all members of the society, and especially those from the minority groups, are involved in the implementation of these strategies, the government must provide organizations that deal with these communities with enough resources and information for the execution of the legislation.

Financing Mechanism

The resources set aside to aid in the fight against child abuse usually vary in each financial year. In 2016, a bill proposing $10 m towards child abuse prevention strategies was tabled in the Congress (Crosson-Tower, 2017). While the bill was not passed into law, it helped to show the need for the allocation of enough resources towards this initiative. So far, the level of funding has been insufficient, thus severely affecting child protection strategies in some communities (Farrell et al., 2017). To remedy this, the government must allocate enough resources to each community, a factor that will determine the number of abuse cases reported in each group as well as the socio-economic position of the society. It should also ensure that teenage domestic violence.

Interview with Beneficiary

Following the influence of this legislation in the society, many people are familiar with its policies and based on their testimonies; it is evident that many believe in its policies and strategies. However, teenagers still feel that while the legislation protects them against older attackers, it does not focus on violence emanating from individuals in their age groups. Also, the policy does not adequately educate the society on the existence of effects of this form of domestic violence. There is, therefore, an immediate need for more effective strategies aimed at educating the nation on teen domestic violence and prosecuting individuals guilty of teenage domestic abuse.


The Child Prevention and Protection Act has made significant contributions towards the protection of children and minors from different forms of abuse. However, its shortcomings have continually affected service delivery, especially when dealing with teenage domestic violence. The government needs to allocate enough resources that will ensure both majority and minority groups have enough information concerning the rights of children and minors. Also, the society must know the issues surrounding child abuse in the modern society. If these issues are addressed, the nation will be in a better position to address all forms of domestic abuse, including teen domestic violence.


The Child Abuse Prevention and Protection Act as succeeded in protecting children and minors from different forms of abuse. The legislation has ensured partnership with a different organization dedicated towards the protection of children and minors in the United States. However, the policy has failed to address teenage domestic violence, a factor that has led to an increase in teenage domestic violence. The legislation should, therefore, be amended to offer protection for teenagers.


Crosson-Tower, C. (2017). Exploring child welfare: A practice perspective. New York, NY: Pearson.

Eckenrode, J., Smith, E. G., McCarthy, M. E., & Dineen, M. (2014). Income inequality and child maltreatment in the United States. Pediatrics, 133(3), 454-461.

Farrell, C. A., Fleegler, E. W., Monuteaux, M. C., Wilson, C. R., Christian, C. W., & Lee, L. K. (2017). Community poverty and child abuse fatalities in the United States. Pediatrics, e20161616.

Fiket, C. S., Grotti, A. W., Stoltzfus, E, E., & Child Welfare Information Gateway...

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