Just hours before they were slain, Barwick and Ruschak filed reports of Allred's threats with the Seminole County Sheriff's Office. A key element of the Barwick-Ruschak Act allows officers to make an immediate, warrantless arrest when there is reason to believe an act of dating violence has occurred. The majority of the 36 that responded echoed Book's praise."When responding to a dating violence situation, the Legislature has given law enforcement the tools to solve the problem," said Capt.But authorities said they weren't empowered to make an immediate arrest. The Gainesville Police Department deals with cases of dating violence, sometimes involving young adults including those who attend the University of Florida. Dennis Strow of the Marion County Sheriff's Office."In the past," he said, "the state did not give us the authority to make an arrest on an assault that did not take place in our presence."Strow said the system has made great strides to assist victims in his career of 36 1/2 years.Recognizing that the person you love is controlling, abusive or violent is hard even for adults.Even when teens recognize that they are being abused, they may hesitate to turn to adults for support, understanding, and protection.Stalking can take many forms, such as: For more information about stalking, please visit the National Stalking Resource Center or the Stalking Teen Victim Project.If you or a friend are being stalked, you can get free help.
In all of these stories we hear an adult perspective and when we read about the statistics on intimate partner violence, it is often in the case of adults. Teen dating violence is a very serious issue, because if you think about it, a lot of abusive behavior and patterns of abuse start in perpetrators at a very young age, often influences by their own upbringing and their environment.The state Barwick-Ruschak Act has been in effect a little more than a year, and law officers and victim's advocates throughout Florida say it has significantly helped them assist - and protect - victims of dating violence and threats.Dating violence is defined as violence between people who have - or within the previous six months had - an ongoing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.The Barwick-Ruschak Act mirrors the state's domestic violence laws, which give officers wide latitude in making arrests, said Sgt.Do you know where to go for help if you suspect a teen is in an abusive relationship?