August 11, 2008

Crapo Honors Teen Advocates Preventing Dating Violence

Names Idaho teens in Congressional Record Statements

Washington, DC -Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, a Congressional leader in annual efforts to fully fund domestic violence awareness and prevention and victims' assistance programs, is honoring 19 Idaho teens who served on the Idaho Teen Advisory Council during the 2007-2008 school year. These teens have taken a lead role in Idaho's efforts to prevent violence in dating relationships by speaking out against teen dating violence, which includes emotional abuse.

The teens are part of a program started by the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence in 2005, as part of its "No Means Know" teen dating violence prevention campaign. The campaign is developing a statewide education and prevention strategy on teen dating violence in Idaho, partnering with medical providers, educators and counselors, faith-based groups, legal services, and others. Crapo was successful in efforts between 2000 and 2004 in adding dating violence and abuse as part of the definition of domestic violence under federal law. Since 2004, he has continued his efforts to support domestic violence intervention and prevention funding at the federal level and has helped secure federal dollars for family justice centers and domestic and sexual violence intervention and prevention programs across Idaho. He extended federal assistance to victims of dating violence for the first time under a federal version of Idaho's "Cassie's Law."

"It might shock parents to know that one in five teens from 13 to 14 years old say their friends are victims of dating violence," Crapo said. "More than 60 percent of those in the 11 to 14 age group know of someone who has been verbally demeaned or abused by a dating partner. And these are just the pre- and early teens-dating violence continues on into college and beyond. Awareness programs like the 'No Means Know' campaign reinforce the need to speak out against physical and emotional abuse in relationships. I am proud that Idaho's teens, both young women and young men, have and continue to lead this effort in promoting the characteristics of healthy relationships and recognizing abuse when it occurs."

Since 2006, Crapo has authored the annual Senate declaration designating the first full week of February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Week. The week, established by Congress in 2006, stemmed from a 2004 effort, also by teens from all over the nation who came together in Washington, D.C., to talk about putting an end to teen dating violence. They approached Crapo in 2005, and asked for his assistance in establishing a recognition week. For the past three years, the "No Means Know" campaign has been at the forefront of that effort in Idaho and more information is available on the project's website, http://www.nomeansknow.com.

"The Idaho Teen Dating Violence Advisory Council members have been an extraordinary resource to the project, providing valuable feedback on the curriculums as well as innovative and effective ways to reach out to Idaho teens in promoting respect in teen dating relationships," said Kelly Miller, Project Director. "In the last two years, we have conducted more than 300 presentations in Idaho's secondary schools and youth groups, reaching more than 14,000 youth on this critical issue." The Project has also educated more than 4,000 parents and adults working with youth on recognizing the warning signs of teen dating violence.

Crapo will present Idaho teens and their family members with Congressional recognition during August:

Wednesday, August 13
1:00 p.m. Lewiston Presents Congressional Record Statements noting the efforts of Benjamin Allen, Kyle Conger, Tiffany Delphous and James Walker in promoting the prevention of teen dating violence. At Crapo's Regional Office, 313 D Street.

Saturday, August 16
8:00 a.m. Kellogg Presents Congressional Record Statements noting the efforts of Sarah Grigg and Katie Kilbourne in promoting the prevention of teen dating violence. At Kellogg City Hall, 1007 McKinley Avenue. Following the presentation, Crapo will tour levees in the Kellogg and Pinehurst area.