Report: Most states lag with dating-violence laws

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SALT LAKE CITY -- When it comes to protecting victims of teen violence, the state of Utah earns a failing grade.

According to the anti-dating violence group Break the Cycle, Utah one of 11 states that does not adequately protect teens from possible abuse.

They say that in order for teens to be properly protected states must allow teens to seek protective orders against their abusers.

Currently, that is not possible in Utah, since dating relationships are not explicitly recognized as a basis for such an order.

Break the Cycle says as many as one in three teens experience dating violence at some time during their adolescence.

According to Break the Cycle, only five states deserve a 'A' grades. Twelve states got D's and 11 failed.

States receiving an 'A" were New Hampshire California, Illinois, Minnesota and Oklahoma. Getting F's were Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Virginia.

Grades were based on various comparisons between the legal treatment of adult victims of domestic violence and teen victims of dating violence.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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