January 31, 2011

D.C. Event Kicks Off Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Crapo hopes school event, curriculum could inspire others

Washington, D.C. - A Washington, D.C. school plans an assembly to note the dangers of teen dating violence, and Idaho Senator Mike Crapo and other advocates against violence hope it can serve as a model for other schools and student organizations around the nation. Crapo, a longtime advocate for increased awareness about violence against women and teens, will speak at the event. He sponsored federal legislation that first brought federal funding assistance to abuse victims in dating relationships.

"Advances in technology, including cell phones and online social networks, make communicating between teens easier than ever, but they also increase the opportunities for abuse and cyber bullying," Crapo said. "We are working with partners ranging from the Liz Claiborne Foundation to the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence to increase awareness of the growing problem of teen dating violence. It is the responsibility of every man, young and old, to stop abuse when they see or hear it. That includes young men who may hear or see abusive language or actions, and schools and neighborhoods are a good place to get the word out that violence and abuse are unacceptable."

Jefferson Junior High School in Southwest Washington, D.C. will host the event, where Crapo will join with other speakers to urge school leaders and teens to speak up against teen dating violence. The Liz Claiborne Foundation has put together school curriculum materials that can be used in any school at www.loveisrespect.org. Representatives from the American School Counselor Foundation, Liz Claiborne, local law enforcement and judicial leaders and teen victims of dating violence will be speaking at the event.

Since its inception last year, some 8,000 schools around the nation have adopted the "Love Is Not Abuse" anti-teen dating abuse curriculum adopted in part by the Liz Claiborne Foundation. Crapo notes that surveys of teens reveal several startling statistics: one-third of teens report being physically, emotionally or verbally abused by a dating partner, 43 percent of teens experienced cyber-bullying and more than half of parents surveyed could not recognize the signs of abuse that could affect children.

News Conference and school rally to promote awareness about teen dating violence and to note February as National Teen Dating Awareness Month:
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
9:45 a.m.
Jefferson Junior High School
801 7th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C.