Photo: State Senator Lou Correa addressing Sexual Assault Awareness Month supporters outside the California State Capitol
State, Senator, 34th Senate District
For Immediate Release: April 22, 2010
Contact: Lina Hamilton (916) 651-4034
Correa’s Bill on Teen Dating Violence Education and Prevention Passes Senate Committee
SACRAMENTO, CA- Proposed legislation by Senator Lou Correa (Orange County) to teach teen students about teen dating violence awareness and prevention was approved today by the Senate Committee on Education. SB 1300 will require the State Board of Education to incorporate, at its next revision, teen dating violence and sexual violence instruction into health curriculum framework for pupils in 7 to 12 grades. This bill will also authorize a school district to provide teen dating violence prevention education consisting of age-appropriate instruction.
The prevalence of dating violence among teens is alarming. Studies indicate that over 30 percent of teens will experience abuse in a dating relationship. Young women between the ages of 16 to 24 are the most vulnerable to domestic violence, experiencing the highest rates of non-fatal intimate partner violence. Senator Lou Correa said: “Patterns of dating violence behavior frequently start in the early stages of life and personality development. These behaviors are most likely to be repeated into the individual’s adult relationships. Studies have shown that the severity of domestic violence increases if the pattern has been established in adolescence”.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), “Dating violence is the physical, sexual or psychological/emotional violence that occurs within a dating relationship. Destructive relationships during the teen years can lead to lifelong unhealthy relationship practices, may disrupt normal development, and can contribute to other unhealthy behaviors in teens that can lead to chronic mental and physical health conditions in adulthood. Teens who were physically hurt by a dating partner were more likely to say they engage in risky sexual behavior, binge drink, use drugs, attempt suicide, and participate in physical fights.”
Students whom are victims of teen dating violence have poor academic performance and their safety at school is jeopardized. Among 9th graders in California, teen dating violence victims were almost twice as likely to have “failing” grades, and more than six times as likely to have carried a gun to school as other 9th graders.
Currently, there are several states across the nation, including: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, Ride Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, that have enacted laws to develop educational curriculums to teach and increase sexual violence/teen dating violence awareness in schools.
In 2009, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Carolina introduced legislative measures to establish or strengthen sexual violence/teen dating violence awareness and education in schools.
Under existing California law, public school districts do not have to educate employees and students about dating violence, nor do they have to have a response policy and protocol for complaints of teen dating violence.
Yesterday, while addressing a crowd gathered outside the State Capitol for the sex violence awareness rally “Denim Day California” Senator Correa stated: “Today, I presented SB 1300, the Teen Dating Violence Education and Awareness Act, before the Senate Education Committee because I believe that we have to begin to educate and inform our children that any form or manner of sexual assault is intolerable. We must remember that domestic violence can be unlearned. We need to continue coordinating efforts among all sectors of federal, state and local government agencies, and community organizations in preventing and responding to any manifestation of domestic violence at any level.”
Senator Lou Correa represents the 34th District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Stanton and Westminster.
Office of Senator Lou Correa, 34th District