The following is cut and pasted from an email I received that I think is crucial in offering to you. It reinforces the fact that girls are unsafe in a world that condones violence against girls and women. We need to prepare our girls better for combating violent and aggressive men who put them in harms way, but we also need to step up and actively participate in changing the way our society functions, especially in how girls are perceived and represented in the media and in society. Kristin Mitchell lost her life to dating violence — to a boy she trusted — and her parents are fighting to pass a 2009 bill that addresses dating violence in schools as part of the curriculum. It’s amazing to me that it still hasn’t passed. But perhaps this is a first step of many towards empowering our young women so that they don’t have Kristin’s fate.
The following are statistics on dating violence offered by the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic, which states that girls between the ages of 16 and 24 are abused by boyfriends, mainly because they are not prepared to deal with aggression and possible violence form those they have feelings for. Here are some factoids to show how relevant and critical dating violence is:
- About one in three high school students have been or will be involved in an abusive relationship.
- Forty percent of teenage girls ages 14 to 17 say they know someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.
- In one study, from 30 to 50 percent of female high school students reported having already experienced teen dating violence.
- Teen dating violence most often takes place in the home of one of the partners.
- In 1995, 7 percent of all murder victims were young women who were killed by their boyfriends.
- One in five or 20 percent of dating couples report some type of violence in their relationship.
- One of five college females will experience some form of dating violence.
- A survey of 500 young women, ages 15 to 24, found that 60 percent were currently involved in an ongoing abusive relationship and all participants had experienced violence in a dating relationship.
- One study found that 38 percent of date rape victims were young women from 14 to 17 years of age.
- A survey of adolescent and college students revealed that date rape accounted for 67 percent of sexual assaults.
- More than half young women raped (68 percent) knew their rapist either as a boyfriend, friend or casual acquaintance.
- Six out of 10 rapes of young women occur in their own home or a friend or relative’s home, not in a dark alley.
- More than 4 in every 10 incidents of domestic violence involves non-married persons (Bureau of Justice Special Report: Intimate Partner Violence, May 2000)
Here’s the letter regarding the changing of a bill that will help educate our girls about dating violence — before they find themselves in such a situation. And even if you don’t live in Maryland, (I don’t), one step at a time towards change.
Below is a message from Bill & Michele Mitchell, our dedicated State Action Leaders for Maryland. They are parents to Kristin Mitchell, who graduated from Saint Joseph’s University and 3 weeks later lost her life to dating violence on June 3, 2005. The Mitchells have since worked tirelessly with Delegate Jill Carter, a National Foundation of Women Legislators (NFWL) representative, to pass a 2009 bill encouraging that lessons on teen dating abuse be implemented in schools. Currently, they are working to pass a stronger, more comprehensive law in the state of Maryland and they need your help with House Bill 386 – the Kristin Marie Mitchell Law! Please read below & pass this on to your friends living in Maryland:
What we’re asking will take a few minutes, but it could also save the life of someone you know. We need your support to help pass a Maryland law that would do a better job of putting teen dating violence education into classrooms.
This law would:
1. Adopt a program in the public schools to educate students about dating violence
2. Include education on services provided to victims of dating violence
3. Name this law “The Kristin Marie Mitchell Law”
4. Declare the first week of February as Tween / Teen Dating Violence Education and Awareness Week in Maryland
We need you to
1. WRITE INDIVIDUAL EMAILS to a list of delegates (below). You would be sending a total of 23 emails
2. The point of your email is you are:
“In support of HB386, the Tween and Teen Dating Violence Education Law”
3. This would require you to write to EACH INDIVIDUAL delegate…
Copy and paste email addresses into EACH email…
Start each with the appropriate delegates name (taken from their emails)
You are free to write your email any way you’d like –
or start with what you see here…
Dear Delegate (add delegate’s NAME),
I am in support of HB386, the Tween and Teen Dating Violence Education Law. I would like for you to vote in favor of this Bill.
I want Maryland schools to have the best available teaching for our young women and young men. This law will enable better ways of getting this life-saving information to our tweens and teens so they are knowledgeable about dating abuse, dating violence, and the resources available for help.
I personally know the Mitchell family and am aware that their daughter, Kristin, was completely unprepared to recognize the warning signs that caused her to lose her life due to dating violence. Please help by voting in favor of HB386, the Tween and Teen Dating Violence Education Law.
Here is the list of delegates…
Thank you for participating in this noble venture.
Bill & Michele
Kristin Mitchell Foundation
RUN LIFE YOUR WAY.
- Bipartisan Bill to Address Teen Dating Violence Given Green Light by Assembly (gloucestercitynews.net)
- N.J. may step in to combat dating violence (sleepingbeautyslavery.wordpress.com)
- Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (preventviolence.wordpress.com)