Back 

Teen Dating Violence

 Teen Dating Violence

teen The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one in 11 adolescents say they have been the victim of physical dating violence; a separate survey indicated that one in four teens self-report physical, verbal, emotional or sexual abuse every year.  African American and Hispanic students report higher rates of dating violence than white students. Healthy or unhealthy relationship habits develop early. Approximately 72 percent of 8th and 9th graders report "dating." By the time these students get to high school, more than half of them say they see dating violence among their peers.   Destructive relationships during the teen years can lead to life-long unhealthy relationship practices, may disrupt normal development, and can contribute to other unhealthy behaviors in teens that, if left unchecked, can lead to problems over a lifetime. The CDC's 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System survey indicates that adolescents who report being physically hurt in a dating relationship were also more likely to report that they engage in risky sexual behavior, binge drink, use drugs, attempt suicide, and participate in physical fights. 

Prevention initiatives include early education about healthy dating practices. Choose Respect, a CDC initiative aimed at adolescents, raises awareness about teen dating violence and promotes healthy relationship practices by challenging harmful beliefs about dating violence.

Policymakers can play a role in preventing teen dating violence. At least 19 states have laws that urge or require school boards to develop curriculum on teen dating violence. Many states have also adopted teen dating violence awareness weeks or months, in an effort to draw the public's attention to a national campaign that promotes prevention, safe dating practices and offers information and resources. 

2014 Introduced Legislation |  State Laws | Dating Violence Postcard | 

Updated July 2014

2014 Introduced Legislation

 

State  Bill Description
Alabama HB 593 Would require K-12 schools to incorporate into health education curricula age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention education and implement standards for training staff on sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention. Failed
California SB 1165 This bill would authorize a school district to provide dating violence, sexual abuse, sexual abuse and sex trafficking prevention education, as defined, and would require a school district that elects to offer this instruction to ensure that each pupil receives the instruction at least once in junior high or middle school, and at least once in high school. The bill would encourage school districts to collaborate with outside consultants with expertise in dating violence, sexual abuse, sexual abuse and sex trafficking prevention education in order to create school safety plans to address these issues. Pending
Connecticut

HB 5593 Would require each local and regional board of education develop and implement a safe school climate plan to address the existence of bullying and teen dating violence in its schools. Enacted, Chapter 234

SB 282 This bill would include teen dating violence education in the prescribed courses of study in the public school curriculum. Failed

Georgia HB 882 Would require the State Board of Education to incorporate into rape prevention and personal safety education programs a program for preventing teen dating violence, the Love Is Not Abuse Curriculum. Failed
Massachusetts SB 2079 Would allow the district attorney in each district to establish a community-based juvenile/youthful justice program for the purposes of ensuring the safety and security of the public and private schools of that district, to address the problems of juvenile and youthful violence, to improve the services available to school-age youth, to ensure the effective use of resources by state and local law enforcement and various state agencies, and promote collaboration among schools, local and state law enforcement agencies, municipalities, the probation department, and the departments of children and families, youth services, mental health and public health. The program shall assist in the development of school and community-based programs that are designed to prevent violence, including dating and sexual assault, and delinquency, develop techniques for the early identification of at-risk youth, divert non-violent youthful offenders from the juvenile or criminal justice system, and ensure the availability of and access to community-based rehabilitative services including, but not limited to, substance abuse services for youthful offenders when appropriate. Pending
Michigan HB 5657 Would amend the revised school code to require model programs and recommendations for curricular materials concerning teen dating violence and adolescent relationship abuse to be incorporated in an age and grade-appropriate manner. Pending
Missouri SB 562 This bill would allow school districts and charter schools to establish and implement an age-appropriate curriculum to educate students about domestic violence and teen dating violence prevention. Failed
New York

AB 518 Would require dating violence education and dating violence policies in school districts, boards of cooperative educational services and county vocational education and extension boards (Similar to SB 4860). Pending

SB 828 Would establish the temporary state commission on intimate partner violence, within office for the prevention of domestic violence to study, report on and make recommendations on such violence (Similar to AB 2312). Pending

North Carolina HB 559 Would provide for the education of North Carolina high school students about teen dating violence and abuse. Pending
Oklahoma HB 3416 Would require State Department of Education to include certain subject in list of programs to prevent student bullying, specifically including teen dating violence prevention. Failed
South Carolina

HB 4886 Would enact the teen dating violence prevention act, create the offense of teen dating violence, allow victims to seek orders of protection or restraining orders under certain circumstances. This bill would also include instruction on teen dating violence in the comprehensive health education act. Failed

HB 4913 Would enact the teen dating violence prevention act, create the offense of teen dating violence, allow victims to seek orders of protection or restraining orders under certain circumstances. This bill would also include instruction on teen dating violence in the comprehensive health education act. Failed

SB 1025 Would declare February 2014 as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month throughout South Carolina and to urge the general public to work toward ending teen dating violence by empowering young people to develop healthier relationships, assisting victims in accessing the information and supportive services they need, creating better and more resources for young people in need, instituting effective intervention and prevention policies in schools and engaging in discussions with family members. Failed

SB 1132 Would enact the teen dating violence prevention act, create the offense of teen dating violence, allow victims to seek orders of protection or restraining orders under certain circumstances. This bill would also include instruction on teen dating violence in the comprehensive health education act. Failed

Wisconsin AB 919 This bill would require schools to provide teen dating violence prevention education and establishes certain criteria governing the instruction provided. The bill requires the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to incorporate teen dating violence and sexual violence curriculum into its model health curriculum. Failed

 


State Laws on Teen Dating Violence

 

 State  Description of Law

Arizona

Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-712.01 Allows school districts to incorporate dating abuse information that is age appropriate into the school district's existing health curriculum for pupils in grades seven through twelve.

Colorado Colo., Sess. Laws, Chap. 303 (2013 HB 1081) Creates the comprehensive human sexuality education grant program in the department of public health and environment. Requires education programs to include instruction regarding the prevention of sexual violence in dating and teaching young people how to recognize and respond safely and effectively in situations where sexual or physical violence may be occurring.

Connecticut

2010 Conn. Acts, P.A. 91 (2010 HB 5315) Includes teen dating violence and domestic violence education as part of the in-service training program for certified teachers, administrators and pupil personnel.

2010 Conn. Acts, P.A. 137 (2010 HB 5246) Requires the Commissioner of Public Health to develop one public service announcement issued by the Department of Public Health through a televised broadcast for the purpose of preventing teen dating and family violence. 

Delaware

Vol.77 Del. Laws, Chap. 357 Requires school districts and charter schools to establish a policy on responding to Teen Dating Violence and Sexual Assault, including guidelines on mandatory reporting and confidentiality, a protocol for responding to incidents of Teen Dating Violence and Sexual Assault and training on the issue. The law also requires school districts and charter schools to add comprehensive healthy relationships programming as part of the student health classes.

Florida

2010 Fla. Laws, Chap. 217 (2010 SB 642/HB 467) Requires a comprehensive health education taught in the public schools to include a component on teen dating violence and abuse for students in grades 7 through 12. Would require district school boards to adopt and implement a dating violence and abuse policy and provides policy requirements. Also would require the Department of Education to develop a model policy that includes school personnel training.

Fla. Stat. § 784.046  A victim of dating violence that has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of another act of dating violence, or any person who has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of an act of dating violence, or the parent or legal guardian of any minor child who is living at home and who seeks an injunction for protection against dating violence on behalf of that minor child, has standing in the circuit court to file a restraining order against the accused dating violence abuser.

Georgia

Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-314 (2003 SB 346)  The State Board of Education is required to develop a rape prevention and personal safety education program and a program for preventing teen dating violence for grades 8 through 12. Local boards may implement such programs at any time and for any grade level local boards find appropriate, and the state board shall encourage the implementation of such programs. In addition, the state board shall make information regarding such programs available to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

Illinois

2013 Ill. Laws, P.A. 190 (2013 HB 3379) Amends the “Critical Health Problems and Comprehensive Health Education Act” and requires school boards to adopt a policy that: states that teen dating violence is unacceptable and is prohibited and that each student has the right to a safe learning environment; and incorporates age-appropriate education about teen dating violence into new or existing training programs for students in grades 7 through 12 and school employee.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 105, §110/3 (2009 HB 973) Amends the Critical Health Problems and Comprehensive Health Education Act. Provides that the Comprehensive Health Education Program may include instruction on teen dating violence for specified grade levels.

Ill. Laws, P.A. 95-876 (2007 SB 2023/HB 1330) Requires the State Board of Education to convene an Ensuring Success in School Task Force to develop policies and procedures for addressing the educational and related needs of youth who are parents, expectant parents, or victims of domestic or sexual violence to ensure their ability to stay in school, and successfully complete their education. Adds one member appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate and one member appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives to the Task Force. The Task Force will issue a final report to the General Assembly in Spring of 2009.

Indiana

Ind. Code §20-19-3-10 Requires the department of education to identify or develop model dating violence education materials and a model for dating violence response policies and reporting.

Louisiana

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §17.81 Requires the governing authority of each public school to provide students in grades seven through 12 enrolled in health education instruction about teen dating violence.

Maryland

Md. Education Code. Ann. §7-411.1 Allows the state board of education to encourage county boards to incorporate age-appropriate lessons on dating violence into the county boards' health education curriculum.

Massachusetts

2010 Mass. Acts, Chap. 256 (2010 SB 2583) Requires school districts to implement a specific policy to address teen dating violence in public schools. These policies are required to clearly state that teen dating violence will not be tolerated, and need to include guidelines for addressing alleged incidents of teen dating violence. 

2010 Mass. Acts, Chap. 92 (2010 SB 2404) Requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish standards that will provide for instruction in the issues of nutrition, physical education, AIDS education, violence prevention, including teen dating violence, bullying prevention, conflict resolution and drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse prevention.
Nebraska

Neb. Rev. Stat.§ 43 Sec. 79-2,142 (2009 LB 63) (originally LB 64, but added to LB 63 during session) Section 43-47  adopts the Lindsay Burke Act passed in Rhode Island in 2007. Would require the state department of education to develop a model policy for schools to address teen dating violence through their curriculum.

New Jersey

N.J. Stat. Ann. §18A:35-4.23 (2003 SB 487/AB 3081) Creates the Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Education Fund and allows the board of education to teach the psychology and dynamics of teen dating violence when appropriate in elementary, middle and high school.

Ohio

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §3313.60, 3313.666, and 3319.073 (2009 HB 19) Enacts the Tina Croucher Act. Requires school districts to adopt a dating violence prevention policy and to include dating violence prevention education within the health education curriculum.

2007 HB119 (Appropriations Bill) Requires the  Franklin County Child and Family Health Services  to support the Compdrug Teen Dating Violence Prevention Project. Comp Drug  Inc. is an organization that offers services in prevention, intervention and treatment programs for persons with substance abuse problems and the largest provider of institutional and community based corrections programs.

Oregon

2012 Or. Laws, Chap. 69 Directs each school district board to adopt policy related to teen dating violence.

Pennsylvania

2010 Pa. Laws, Act 104 (2010 HB 101) Amends the terms and courses of study in the Public School Code of 1949 and  provides for dating violence education.

Rhode Island

R.I. Gen. Laws §16-85, 16-21-30, and 16-22-24 (2007 SB 875/HB 6166) Establishes the Lindsay Anne Burke Act which requires the Department of Education to develop a model dating violence policy to assist school districts in developing policies for dating violence reporting and response. The model policy shall be implemented on or before April 1, 2008. Each school district's policy should include a policy for responding to incidents of dating violence and to provide dating violence education to students, parents, staff, faculty and administrators, in order to prevent dating violence and to address incidents involving dating violence. Click here to view Rhode Island Department of Education's policy on teen dating violence.

Tennessee

Tenn. Code Ann. §49.1-220 (2006 SB 595) This act urges the Department of Education to develop a sexual violence/teen dating violence awareness curriculum for presentation at least once in grades 7 and 8 and at least once and preferably twice in grades 9 through 12. The curriculum is intended to increase awareness of teen dating violence and sexual violence, including rape prevention strategies, resources available, etc.

Texas

2011 House Bill 2496 (signed by Governor 6/17/2011) Creates a teen dating violence court program that includes a 12-week course to educate children who engage in dating violence and encourage them to refrain from engaging in that conduct. This law also provides for the deferral of adjudication and dismissal of certain dating violence cases.

Tex. Education Code Ann. §37.0821 (2007 HB121) Schools are required to develop and implement a dating violence policy. The school policy should provide training for teachers and administrators and awareness education for students and parents. It should also enforce protective orders or school based alternative including counseling for affected students. The policy is also required to addressing safety planning.

 Virginia

2011 Va. Acts, Chap. 634 Requires that any family life education curriculum offered by a local school division is to include the Standards of Learning objectives related to dating violence and the characteristics of abusive relationships to be taught at least once in middle school and at least twice in high school. (SB 906 of 2011)

Va. Code Ann. § 22.1-207.1 (2007 HB 1916) Develops curriculum guidelines for teaching teen dating violence and all family life education in schools. The guidelines promote parental involvement, foster positive self concepts and provide mechanisms for coping with peer pressure and the stresses of modern living according to the students' developmental stages and abilities. The Board shall also establish requirements for appropriate training for teachers of family life education, which shall include training in instructional elements to support the various curriculum components.

 Washington

Wash. Rev. Code §28A.300.185 (2005 HB 1252) Requires the state school superintendent to develop a model curriculum. The model curriculum shall include, but is not limited to, instruction on developing conflict management skills, communication skills, domestic violence and dating violence, financial responsibility, and parenting responsibility.

 

 


           Percentage of High School Students Who Experienced Dating Violence*

Teen Dating Violence
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.

  • One in 10 adolescents reports being a victim of physical dating violence.
  • One in 4 adolescents report verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse each year.
  • About 72 percent of eighth and ninth graders report "dating."
  • Teen dating abuse most often takes place in the home of one of the partners.

Adolescence is a "window of opportunity" for prevention, and policymakers can play a role in preventing teen dating violence. Laws in at lesat 14 states urge or require school boards to develop curriculum on teen dating violence and at least 8 states considered legislation in 2011. States also have adopted teen dating violence awareness weeks or months to bring attention to prevention and safe dating practices.

Options for Policymakers

  • Support evidence-based programs in schools and communities, such as Safe Dates and Fourth R, that are proven to prevent and intervene in violent teen dating relationships. Programs are more likely to lower the incidence of teen dating violence when science informs their curricula.
  • Work with health officials to gather surveillance data in states that do not collect information on teen dating violence.
  • Analyze and evaluate existing state and local policies and practices to identify effective strategies to prevent teen dating violence.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2009.

 

Share this: 
NCSL Summit Resources
We are the nation's most respected bipartisan organization providing states support, ideas, connections and a strong voice on Capitol Hill.

NCSL Member Toolbox

Denver

7700 East First Place
Denver, CO 80230
Tel: 303-364-7700 | Fax: 303-364-7800

Washington

444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 515
Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel: 202-624-5400 | Fax: 202-737-1069

Copyright 2014 by National Conference of State Legislatures