In Love or In Trouble: Examining Ways Court Professionals Can Better Respond to Victims of Adolescent Partner Violence


  • Judge Eugene M. Hyman has been a judge of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara (San Jose) for 19 years, and served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Santa Clara School of Law for 22 years. Judge Hyman and the Superior Court received the United Nations Public Service Award for the Juvenile Domestic and Family Violence Court.

  • Wanda Lucibello is the Chief of Special Victims Division at the Brooklyn (New York) District Attorney's Office and has served in the office for over 19 years. In 2009, she was the recipient of the prestigious Thomas E. Dewey Medal presented by the New York City Bar Association.

  • Emilie Meyer is an associate attorney with the Family Violence Department of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.


This article explores adolescent partner violence and the responses to it from the legal system. Research suggests that as many as 45% of high school students have experienced some form of adolescent partner violence. Despite these findings, the legal response to domestic violence has focused on assisting adult victims and has often excluded adolescents. This article examines the innovative approaches of two of the country's first adolescent-oriented domestic violence courts and uses the lessons learned from these courts and the research to suggest a larger role court professionals can play in responding to adolescent partner violence.