Youth Domestic Violence/Dating Courts Overview

Juvenile domestic violence courts were established in response to the increase in teen dating violence as well as family violence initiated by teens and violence between teen parents who are not married. The juvenile domestic violence court, sometimes called dating violence or youth violence court, focuses on youth who have committed violence in the context of a specific relationship.

These courts address violent incidents against a person who would be considered an intimate partner, such as a spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, or someone in a dating relationship, or acts of abuse directed at a close family member, such as a parent or sibling. The approach focuses on two areas: ensuring accountability by addressing the behavior of the minor who is committing the abusive act(s) and ensuring safety and providing support for the victim.

Characteristics of a juvenile domestic violence courts are similar to other collaborative justice courts, including a dedicated calendar, screening for domestic or dating violence, a non-adversarial team approach to court processing, judicial and probation supervision, targeted services and programs for the offender, and victim services. Addressing victim services distinguishes domestic violence courts from other collaborative courts. There is not yet consensus in about what kind of treatment and services can adequately address the underlying causes of domestic or family violence. As such, domestic violence courts are not as numerous as other collaborative justice court types. In California, there are 33 domestic violence courts, including three known juvenile domestic violence courts.


Judicial Council of California Domestic Violence Prevention and Resources