house resolution no.180

Reps. Thompson, Johnsen, St. Germaine, Smit, Outman, DeBoer, Roth, Bruck, Meerman, Schmaltz and Rigas offered the following resolution:

A resolution to declare February 2024 as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month in the state of Michigan.

Whereas, Bringing awareness to the consequences of intimate partner violence and supporting the development of healthy, respectful, and nonviolent relationships has the potential to decrease teen dating violence both now and in future generations; and

Whereas, According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (in this resolution referred to as the “CDC”), teen dating violence includes 4 types of behavior: physical violence,  sexual violence, psychological aggression, and stalking; and

Whereas, While dating violence, domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking affect individuals regardless of age, teens are especially vulnerable; and

Whereas, According to the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, almost half (44.3 percent) of teens experienced at least one type of violence and 1 in 7 (15.6 percent) of teens experienced at least two types of violence; and

Whereas, One in nine female and one in thirty-six male high school students report having experienced sexual dating violence in the last year; and

Whereas, The CDC reported that nearly one in eleven female teens and about one in fifteen male teens reported experiencing physical dating violence in the last year; and

Whereas, According to a National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey of the CDC, 80 percent of female rape victims experienced their first rape before the age of 25, and almost half experienced their first rape before the age of 18; and

Whereas, According to the same National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 26 percent of women and 15 percent of men who were victims of contact sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime first experienced these or other forms of violence by that partner before the age of 18; and

Whereas, Approximately 35 percent of women who were raped as minors were also raped as adults; and

Whereas, According to the National Institute of Justice and Statistics, technology-facilitated abuse is also a growing social malady contributing to increased psychological aggression among teens; and

Whereas, Technology-facilitated abuse includes, but is not limited to, cyber extortion, cyberstalking, and doxing; and

Whereas, According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, over one quarter (28.1 percent) of teens who had been in a romantic relationship at some point in the previous year said they had been the victim of at least one form of digital dating abuse; and

Whereas, The CDC indicates that community factors, such as neighborhood collective efficacy, and coordination of resources and services among community agencies, may reduce an individual’s risk of perpetrating intimate partner violence; and

Whereas, Primary prevention programs are a key part of addressing teen dating violence, and many successful examples of such programs include education, community outreach, and social marketing campaigns that are culturally appropriate; and

Whereas, Evidence-based programs such as the “Coaching Boys Into Men” program have demonstrated that teaching adolescent men how to have healthy and nonviolent relationships may increase positive bystander behavior and prevent men from becoming perpetrators of teen dating violence; and

Whereas, The Violence Against Women Act of 1994, as amended by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022, includes the SMART Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Act, which improves the coordination and effectiveness of programs to address abusive youth relationships; and

Whereas, Skilled assessment and intervention programs are necessary for youth victims and abusers; and

Whereas, Educating middle school students and their parents about the importance of building healthy relationships in their lives and preventing teen dating violence is key to deterring abuse before it begins; and

Whereas, Bringing awareness and support to this critical issue will also work to save lives, as teens who have experienced dating violence are more than twice as likely as others to consider suicide; and

Whereas, Developing healthy relationship practices and standards in youth under the age of 18 can be critical to eliminating sexual violence and other forms of intimate partner violence. The importance of these efforts will benefit schools, communities, and families regardless of socioeconomic status, race, and sex; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That the members of this legislative body declare February 2024 as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. We strongly support addressing this preventable public health crisis that can negatively impact teens and youth in all parts of the United States and here in Michigan.