Connecticut has earned a D in a report card that ranked states on whether they adequately protect victims of teen dating violence. But a local advocacy group questions the report's findings.
Erika Tindall, Executive Director of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, says high school dating violence is a problem that most don't know about.
"It's most prevalent among seniors. It's about 19 percent report that they've been involved in physical dating violence and heavily, Latino, about 17 percent report that."
Tindall says the state is working on raising awareness about the problem, She cites legislation before the General Assembly that would require schools to educate students about ways to avoid dating violence.
And she says this kind of education is an important first step that's not recognized in a report by Los Angeles based group, Break the Cycle.
The national violence prevention organization gave Connecticut a D grade because the state requires teens in most situations, to get parent or guardian permission before seeking a restraining order. The group sees laws like this as an obstacle to protecting teen victims. But Tindall disagrees.
"Most parents will want to know if their child is being harmed and want to help. But it also raises the issue of let's give the example of a teen that is dating and the parents have forbid them to date and so they don't want to have to go to the parent, that's a real challenging area there."
Tindall adds that in most circumstances, a minor under 18 wouldn't even go to court for a restraining order against a boyfriend or girlfriend without talking to their parents first.
Break the Cycle only issued an A grade to 5 states. New Hampshire was one of them, for laws that protect minors in abusive relationships. Almost 3 dozen states including Connecticut received a poor ranking.