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S.Res. 32 (112th): A resolution designating the month of February 2011 as “National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month”.

The text of the resolution below is as of Jan 27, 2011 (Resolution Agreed to by Senate).



1st Session

S. RES. 32


January 27, 2011

(for himself and Mr. Lieberman) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to


Designating the month of February 2011 as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.

Whereas while dating, domestic, and sexual violence and stalking affect women regardless of age, teens and young women are especially vulnerable;

Whereas according to Liz Claiborne’s 2009 Parent/Teen Dating Violence Poll, approximately 1 in 3 adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a rate that far exceeds victimization rates for other types of violence affecting youth;

Whereas according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 10 percent of high school students have been hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the past year;

Whereas according to the American Journal of Public Health, more than 1 in 4 teenagers have been in a relationship where a partner is verbally abusive;

Whereas according to a Youth Risk Behavioral Survey, almost 20 percent of teen girls who were exposed to physical dating violence did not attend school on 1 or more occasions during the past 30 days due to feeling unsafe at school or on the way to or from school;

Whereas violent relationships in adolescence can have serious ramifications for victims, putting such victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior, suicide, and adult revictimization;

Whereas being physically and sexually abused leaves teen girls up to 6 times more likely to become pregnant and more than twice as likely to contract a sexually transmitted disease;

Whereas nearly 3 in 4 tweens, individuals who are between the ages of 11 and 14, report that dating relationships usually begin at age 14 or younger and about 72 percent of eighth and ninth graders report “dating”;

Whereas 1 in 5 tweens say that their friends are victims of dating violence, and nearly half of tweens who are in relationships know friends who are verbally abused;

Whereas more than 3 times as many tweens (20 percent) as parents of tweens (6 percent) admit that parents know little or nothing about the dating relationships of tweens;

Whereas teen dating abuse most often takes place in the home of 1 of the partners;

Whereas according to Liz Claiborne’s 2009 Parent/Teen Dating Violence Poll, although 82 percent of parents are confident that they could recognize the signs if their child was experiencing dating abuse, a majority of parents (58 percent) could not correctly identify all the warning signs of abuse;

Whereas 74 percent of teenage boys and 66 percent of teenage girls say that they have not had a conversation with a parent about dating abuse in the past year;

Whereas digital abuse and “sexting”, or sending or receiving nude pictures of other young people on a cellphone or on the Internet, is becoming a new frontier for teen dating abuse;

Whereas according to a National Crime Prevention Council survey, 43 percent of middle and high school students reported experiencing cyberbullying in the past year;

Whereas 1 in 4 teens in a relationship say that they have been called names, harassed, or put down by their partner through cellphones and texting;

Whereas according to a survey by The National Campaign, more than half of teen girls say pressure from a boy is a reason girls send suggestive messages or images, while only 18 percent of teen boys say pressure from a girl is a reason for such behavior, and 12 percent of teen girls who have sent suggestive messages or images say they felt “pressured” to do so;

Whereas according to a 2009 survey by Cox Communications, 19 percent of teens revealed that they had been harassed, embarrassed, or threatened online or by text message;

Whereas 3 in 10 young people have sexted, and 61 percent of young people who have “sexted” report being pressured to do so at least once;

Whereas targets of digital abuse are almost 3 times more likely to contemplate suicide as those who have not encountered digital abuse, and targets of digital abuse are nearly 3 times more likely to have considered dropping out of school;

Whereas according to Liz Claiborne’s 2010 College Dating Violence and Abuse Poll, 63 percent of college students report having a college friend who experienced violent and abusive dating behavior;

Whereas according to Liz Claiborne’s 2010 College Dating Violence and Abuse Poll, 41 percent of dating college students report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors;

Whereas 65 percent of college students who were in an abusive relationship failed to realize that they were in an abusive relationship, and 53 percent of such students said that no one helped them;

Whereas the severity of violence among intimate partners has been shown to be greater in cases where the pattern of violence was established in adolescence;

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;

Whereas skilled assessment and intervention programs are also necessary for youth victims and abusers; and

Whereas the establishment of National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month will benefit schools, communities, and families regardless of socioeconomic status, race, or sex: Now, therefore, be it

That the Senate—


designates the month of February 2011 as ‘‘National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month’’;


supports communities in empowering teens to develop healthier relationships throughout their lives; and


calls upon the people of the United States, including youth, parents, schools, law enforcement, State and local officials, and interested groups to observe National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month with appropriate programs and activities that promote awareness and prevention of teen dating violence in their communities.