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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 16, 2019 09:54 AM
From: Representative Joanna E. McClinton
To: All House members
Subject: Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month
Teen dating violence is widespread and is not confined to one area of the country, one specific group, or one sex. Many teens do not report incidents because they are afraid to tell friends and family, however the statistics surrounding this issue are alarming. A recent National Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that in 2017, 8% of high school students (among the 69% of students who dated or went out with someone in the past year) had experienced physical dating violence and nearly 7% of high school students had experienced sexual dating violence. These individuals are at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior, further domestic violence, and suicide. Not surprisingly, this type of violence and abuse on a victim can have lifelong ramifications on the individual, entire families and governmental programs.

All intimate partner violence shares common characteristics, however the specific experiences of young victims, coupled with the challenges of delivering services to this group, sets teen dating violence apart from adult domestic violence. In an effort to raise awareness of this problem, there are cell phone applications that serve as an educational resource for parents and youth, national hotlines and other resources. Teen dating violence can be reduced when everyone works together to implement effective prevention strategies and speaks out about abuse when they see it.

As policymakers, we should do everything in our power to ensure the safety of young men and women throughout this state. Therefore, please join me in raising awareness about teen dating violence in our schools and local communities by designating February 2019 as “Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month” in Pennsylvania.

Introduced as HR85