Texas First Lady Anita Perry spoke at a news conference today highlighting the serious issue of teen dating violence, proclaiming February 4-8, 2008 as Teen Dating Violence and Prevention Week.
"Relationship abuse among teenagers is unfortunately all too common. Together as parents, educators, and peers we can make a difference to end the violence," said Mrs. Perry. "We must continue working to increase awareness and access to resources for victims."
According to a survey by the Texas Council on Family Violence, 75 percent of 16 to 24-year-olds reported having personally experienced dating violence or knew someone who has. The term "Dating Violence" is defined as the intentional use of physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse by a person to harm, threaten, intimidate or control another person in a dating relationship.
Teen Dating Violence Resources:
for assistance accessing legal tools such as protective order (stay-away order).
Texas is a model state in addressing teen dating violence. Victims have access to resources such as a national helpline for teen dating violence, which is housed in Texas through the Texas Council on Family Violence. In 2007, Texas passed HB 121 by Rep. Dukes that requires every school district in the state to create a dating violence policy. Texas is only the second state in the nation to do this.
The Texas Education Agency provided a grant to the Texas Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Team for toolkits used in Texas schools. These toolkits educate the community and Texas students about critical warning signs in abusive relationships and the importance of healthy relationships.
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