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.The need to address dating violence among Native teens is critical.
In my case, many of the children I worked with were Native youth.
Research on youth violence has increased our understanding of factors that make some populations more vulnerable to victimization and perpetration.
Risk factors increase the likelihood that a young person will become violent.
She had been physically and sexually abused by her father.
Her mother, a chronic alcoholic, suffered years of horrific domestic abuse from her father and was unable to care for them.
However, risk factors are not direct causes of youth violence; instead, risk factors contribute to the likelihood of youth violence occurring Protective factors buffer young people from the risks of becoming violent. To date, protective factors have not been studied as extensively or rigorously as risk factors.