Doug is a wonderful man and we love him." While an age disparity like the 35 years between Hutchison and Stodden is by no means the norm, the recent openness around relationships involving huge age gaps -- especially the ' willingness to feature the Cox and Castimatidis nuptials -- suggests that they may be becoming less stigmatized. How does entering into a relationship with an older man before turning 18 -- or even 20 -- affect the young woman involved?
The female age group at highest risk for domestic violence victimization is 16 to 24. Among one segment of this high-risk age group—undergraduate college students—22 percent of female respondents in a Canadian study reported domestic violence victimization, and 14 percent of male respondents reported physically assaulting their dating partners in the year before the survey. And although the victimization of teen girls is estimated to be high, it is difficult to “…untangle defensive responses from acts of initial violence against a dating partner.” Although domestic violence occurs across income brackets, it is most frequently reported by the poor who more often rely on the police for dispute resolution.
No, you tell yourself, your teenager will never talk back, stay out too late or pierce her eyebrow. Teenagers are basically hard-wired to butt heads with their parents, says Stuart Goldman, MD, director of psychiatric education at Children's Hospital in Boston.
"Adolescence is a time of rapid change for kids both physically and cognitively," he explains.
Understanding the risk factors associated with domestic violence will help you frame some of your own local analysis questions, determine good effectiveness measures, recognize key intervention points, and select appropriate responses.
Risk factors do not automatically mean that a person will become a domestic violence victim or an offender.