February 1, 2012

Senate Adopts Whitehouse Resolution Designating February as “National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month”

Washington, DC – The U.S. Senate has adopted by unanimous consent a resolution introduced by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse designating the month of February 2012 as “National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.”

The resolution, coauthored with Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), calls on young people, families, schools, and law enforcement officials to take part in educational programs, community outreach activities, and social marketing campaigns throughout the month of February that promote healthy relationships and prevent violent behavior among teenagers.

“Relationship violence during adolescence can have serious, long-term ramifications for victims, most of whom are girls and young women,” said Whitehouse.  “Primary prevention and education programs for teens and their mentors have the potential to protect young people from serious physical and emotional abuse.”

Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has introduced the Saving Money and Reducing Tragedies through Prevention Act (or the SMART Prevention Act), which would offer grants to support violence prevention education programs for youth, training opportunities for parents and role models, and coordinated services for young victims of dating violence.

Later this week, leading Rhode Island violence prevention groups, including the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Day One, the Lindsay Ann Burke Memorial Fund, and the Katie Brown Educational Program, will present a “Champions for Change” award to Sen. Whitehouse in recognition of his work to help stop dating violence among teens.

“We are grateful to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse for taking the lead on the Senate resolution recognizing February as National Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month,” said Ann Burke, President and Founder of the Lindsay Ann Burke Memorial Fund.  “Senator Whitehouse understands the importance of preventing dating violence through education.  The SMART Prevention Act is a stellar example of his dedication to keeping our youth safe.”


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