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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

Mind the Gap: Providing Shelter to Minor Dating Abuse Survivors

General Material
Published Date
September, 2014

Teen survivors of dating abuse need access to safe and confidential shelter where they can receive specialized domestic violence services. However, criminal and civil state laws can unintentionally prevent domestic violence shelters from accepting teens for residential services. Special laws that authorize runaway and homeless youth shelters do not typically encompass domestic violence shelters. And existing domestic violence shelters are not particularly set up to house teenagers; shelter rules and policies tend to assume that teens are in shelter along with a parent. Shelter through the child welfare system is even out of reach when the dating violence is not considered child abuse under state law. This document provides guidance to advocates on addressing the current gap in services for teens needing emergency shelter to escape dating abuse.