February 2019: Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

WHEREAS, dating violence perpetrators intentionally use a pattern of physical, emotional, sexual, psychological, and/or economic coercion and abuse to control their intimate partners and which violates their intimate partners’ dignity, security, and psychological and physical well-being; and,

WHEREAS, dating violence perpetrators cause significant and long-lasting trauma to countless women, men and children of every religion, culture, economic and social status; and,

WHEREAS, nearly 1.5 million high school students in the United States are physically abused by dating partners every year; and,

WHEREAS, nearly 20.9 percent of female high school students and 13.4 percent of male high school students report being physically or sexually abused by a dating partner; and,

WHEREAS, a 2013 study found 26 percent of teens in relationships were victims of cyber dating abuse. Females were twice as likely to be victims as males; and,

WHEREAS, 50 percent of youth reporting dating violence and rape also reported attempting suicide. This is compared to 12.5 percent of non-abused girls and 5.4 percent of non-abused boys; and,

WHEREAS, only 33 percent of teenage dating abuse victims ever told anyone about it; and,

WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Victim Services and the State of Michigan are committed to holding dating violence perpetrators accountable and employing interventions with them to reduce the risk and harm to both their adult and child victims; and,

WHEREAS, all Michigan residents should 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 and peers to promote awareness and prevention of teen dating violence; and,

WHEREAS, the establishment of Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month will benefit young people, their families, schools and communities regardless of socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of the great State of Michigan, do hereby proclaim February 2019 Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month in Michigan.