Congress Declares Month to Recognize Teen Dating Violence

by Michelle Freeman, Advocacy & Grassroots Coordinator

This year, the entire month of February is dedicated to raising awareness about dating violence. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) introduced and passed a resolution proclaiming February 2010 as the first National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, and Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) has introduced the same resolution in the House of Representatives. One in three adolescent girls is a victim of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds victimization rates for other types of violence affecting youth.

Jewish Women International and Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) collaborated with Senator Crapo, Senator Lieberman, and Congressman Lewis on the resolution, which supports communities empowering teens to develop healthier relationships and calls on parents, schools, and community members to observe February with activities that promote awareness and prevention of teen dating violence in their communities. JWI is proud to have played such an integral part in this resolution, which will raise national consciousness around the problem.

“We intend to increase our focus on stopping this form of domestic violence against all victims by expanding this national awareness to a full month, and repeat our call to protect federal dollars designated to help all victims of domestic violence,” Senator Mike Crapo stated at press conference announcing the unanimous passage of the Senate resolution.

In order to give visiblity and attract media attention towards prevention efforts taking place around the country, Senators Crapo and Lieberman are hosting a luncheon briefing on Capitol Hill on February 25th which is cosponsored by JWI, FVPF, and Break the Cycle.

Speakers at the event will include:

 

  • Rodney Hammond, Ph.D., director of Division of Violence Prevention at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Susan Pfeil, principal of Joseph Jenks Junior High School in Pawtucket, Rhode Island
  • Catherine Pierce, acting director of the Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women
  • Jane Randel, vice president of corporate communications at Liz Claiborne, Inc. 
  • Kiersten Stewart, director of public policy and advocacy at FVPF
  • Loribeth Weinstein, executive director of JWI

 

Also in recognition of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, JWI is asking teens to lend their voice to the discussion through this short anonymous survey. We want to know their thoughts and experiences about dating and relationships. And we hope you’ll join us to help spread the word about teen dating violence in your communities.

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