(Photo from archive: State Senator Lou Correa introducing a bill at the Senate Desk)
Senator Lou Correa, 34th Senate District
For Immediate Release: February 22, 2010
Contact: Lina Hamilton (916) 651-4034
Senator Correa Introduces Measure on Teen Dating Violence Prevention Education
Correa’s bill would allow teen dating violence prevention education to be taught in California schools
SACRAMENTO, CA — California State Senator Lou Correa (Orange County) has introduced Senate Bill 1300 (SB 1300), that would require the State Department of Education to include teen dating violence education into the current health curriculum framework, and would allow schools to provide teen dating violence prevention education.
According the U.S. National Council on Crime and Delinquency Focus, the prevalence of dating violence among teens is alarming. Studies indicate that as many as one in three 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.
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. The consequences of domestic violence are devastating for the victims, their families, and consequently, for our communities. The U.S. Surgeon General has defined domestic violence is a societal problem of epidemic proportions
“Teen dating violence is a limb of domestic violence, a devastating social cancer that corrodes our society at its very core without discrimination of any kind,” said Senator Correa. “Although in California we have come a long way in domestic violence legislation, awareness, prevention and education in the last three decades, there still is a long journey we must take together as a society. The families and children affected by this devastating social disease need our help. It is up to us, as a community, to provide a “domestic violence free” society to our future generations. We must work together on eradicating domestic violence from our society, and we have to start early on”
Patricia Giggans, Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, an advocacy organization on the areas of sexual assault, domestic violence and teen dating violence, and one of the sponsors of SB 1300 stated: “SB 1300 is the first step in supporting schools to effectively respond and prevent teen dating violence. Incorporating teen dating and sexual violence prevention in the health curriculum framework will encourage all schools to recognize the epidemic of violence in teen relationships. We applaud Senator Correa’s efforts to address teen dating violence prevention.”
As a preview to his legislation on teen dating violence prevention, on the Senate Floor today, Senator Correa presented ACR 100, a resolution by Assemblymember Dave Jones (Sacramento) that designates the month of February as “Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention” month. The measure passed unanimously the Senate Floor.
“Teen dating violence is a serious problem in our society. Violent relationships, particularly during adolescence, put the victim at greater risk for other serious health problems such as substance abuse, eating disorders and adult revictimization,” stated Assemblymember Dave Jones, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee. “It is important to recognize that dating violence can occur regardless of socioeconomic status, race, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity. We must do everything possible to protect our children from violence.”
Tara Shabazz, Executive Director of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, said she was deeply gratified at the passage of ACR 100 and was proud that her agency has sponsored the measure. She also stated: “Young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience dating violence at a rate that’s almost triple the national average,” she said. “Raising awareness is crucial not just to teen victims, but to the entire community. The lives of our young people are at stake.”
In closing, Senator Correa Stated: “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.