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Abstract

This article explores the phenomenon of girl violence by examining teen dating violence and girls' experiences with intimate abuse both as victims and as perpetrators. While there is a tendency to view women's experiences as victims of violence as separate and distinct from their experiences as victims of violence, the two phenomena are interrelated. A girl's violent victimization can lead her to victimize someone else, just as her own violence can lead her to violent victimization. These conversations about young women and sexual behavior are especially important for lawyers and advocates. While the implementation of legal strategies such as civil restraining orders and more aggressive criminal prosecutions provide victims of intimate violence greater legal options, there have been no studies which suggest that these strategies help prevent violence among teens. It is necessary to explore more proactive strategies, such as programs geared to reducing dating violence and sex education classes that fully inform adolescents of the risks of early sexual activity.

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