US teen girls at risk in dating violence, study says

The research studied more than 2,000 US homicides of children ages 11 to 18. (AFP)
Updated 16 April 2019
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US teen girls at risk in dating violence, study says

  • Most of the female victims were 17 or 18 and their partners typically four years older, the research found

NEW YORK: One in four US teenage girls killed in a homicide is slain by her dating partner, research showed on Monday, exposing details about the “taboo” issue of dating violence among young people.
Teen and adolescent girls are often embarrassed or reluctant to talk about violence, while some schools and parents resist teaching about violent relationships, experts said.
Nine out of 10 teens and adolescents killed by a dating partner are girls, and nine out of 10 of the killers are boys and men, said researchers at the University of Washington. Their report was published in the JAMA Pediatrics medical journal.
“When they are experiencing things they recognize as unhealthy, they’re not likely to disclose to adults in their lives,” said lead author Avanti Adhia, a senior fellow at the university’s medical school.
“By the time kids get to college, it’s too late to start teaching about this,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The research studied more than 2,000 US homicides of children ages 11 to 18.
It found one-quarter of slain girls were killed by an intimate partner.
A previous study in 2017 by the National Institute of Justice, a US government research agency, found more than two thirds of teens said they had been in a violent intimate relationship in the previous year.
“There’s something so taboo about the topic,” said Bersheva Delgado, a community liaison at The Healing Center, a New York non-profit group that works with abuse survivors.
While some US states allow minors to file legal orders of protection designed to keep abusers away, others require an adult to be present or parental notification that can deter teens from reporting violence, Adhia said.
Most of the female victims were 17 or 18 and their partners typically four years older, the research found.
About two-thirds of the deaths involved guns.
More than one in four deaths were fueled by jealousy, a break-up or resisting a relationship, Adhia said.


US envoy ‘disappointed’ by collapse of inter-Afghan peace meeting

Updated 19 April 2019
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US envoy ‘disappointed’ by collapse of inter-Afghan peace meeting

  • A 250-strong delegation of Afghan politicians and civil society figures had been due to meet Taliban officials in Doha at the weekend
  • The event was abruptly canceled on Thursday amid arguments over the size and status of the group

KABUL: The US envoy for peace in Afghanistan expressed disappointment on Friday after the collapse of a planned meeting between the Taliban and a group of Afghan politicians in Qatar that exposed some of the deep divisions hampering efforts to end the war.
A 250-strong delegation of Afghan politicians and civil society figures had been due to meet Taliban officials in Doha at the weekend. The event was abruptly canceled on Thursday amid arguments over the size and status of the group, which included some government officials attending in a personal capacity.
“I’m disappointed Qatar’s intra-Afghan initiative has been delayed,” Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special representative for Afghan reconciliation, said on Twitter. “I urge all sides to seize the moment and put things back on track by agreeing to a participant list that speaks for all Afghans.”
The collapse of the meeting before it had even started, described as a “fiasco” by one senior Western official, laid bare the tensions that have hampered moves toward opening formal peace negotiations.
Khalilzad, a veteran Afghan-born diplomat, has held a series of meetings with Taliban representatives but the insurgents have so far refused to talk to the Western-backed government in Kabul, which they dismiss as a “puppet” regime.
The Doha meeting was intended to prepare the ground for possible future talks by building familiarity among Taliban officials and representatives of the Afghan state created after the US-led campaign that toppled the Taliban government in 2001. A similar encounter was held in Moscow in February.
President Ashraf Ghani’s office blamed Qatari authorities for the cancelation, saying they had authorized a list of participants that differed from the one proposed by Kabul, “which meant disrespect for the national will of the Afghans.”
“This act is not acceptable for the people of Afghanistan,” it said in a statement on Friday.
Sultan Barakat, director of the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies in Qatar, which had been facilitating the meeting, said there was no disagreement about the agenda.
“Rather, there is insufficient agreement around participation and representation to enable the conference to be a success,” he tweeted.
Preparations had already been undermined by disagreements on the government side about who should attend, as well as by suspicions among rival politicians ahead of presidential elections scheduled for September.
The Taliban derided the agreed list of 250 participants as a “wedding party.” Some senior opposition figures who had been included refused to attend.
The Taliban also objected to Ghani’s comments to a meeting of delegates that they would be representing the Afghan nation and the Afghan government, a statement that went against the insurgents’ refusal to deal with the Kabul administration.