By: California Partnership to End Domestic Violence
Sacramento, June 8, 2011 - On June 6th, the Senate adopted ACR 29 (Bonilla) designating February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Advocates acknowledged the importance of the state's recognition of this serious problem, even as they questioned why the legislature had allowed a teen dating violence education bill to die in committee on May 27th. AB 1773 (Fong), sponsored by the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (The Partnership), was unable to make it out of Assembly Appropriations despite its low cost, absence of mandates, and the support of a broad coalition of educators, youth advocates and anti-violence groups.
The Partnership's executive director Tara Shabazz said the bill's failure was especially disappointing in light of California's poor track record with teen dating violence measures; since 1996, there have been eight school-based teen dating violence prevention bills introduced, all of which have failed. Meanwhile, one in three teen girls will fall victim to dating violence, and much of their abuse and harassment takes place on school campuses.
"There is tremendous public support behind teen dating violence education, but legislators can't seem to muster the political will," Shabazz said. "Parents, teachers, students and advocates all know we have to address this issue. The state needs to step up and support schools' prevention work."
ACR 29's recognition of February as an awareness month provides advocates and educators an opportunity to shed light on a significant threat to California youth. The Partnership thanks lawmakers for their support of these education efforts, and urges them to take more decisive action to promote school safety and the health of our state's young people.
About The Partnership
The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence is California's statewide domestic violence coalition, with nearly 200 member organizations and individuals. Working at the local, state and national levels for 30 years, the California Partnership has a long track record of successfully passing over 100 pieces of legislation on behalf of domestic violence victims and their children. As the unified voice for California's domestic violence agencies, CPEDV provides statewide leadership on public policy issues, offers professional training and services to domestic violence service providers and promotes public awareness through community outreach efforts. With offices in Sacramento, The Partnership's member programs span the entire state.
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