MADISON – Bipartisan legislation to help prevent teen dating violence was introduced by Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse), Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon), Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) and Rep. John Spiros (R-Marshfield). In the United States, 1 in 5 female students and 1 in 10 male students experience physical and/or sexual dating violence. This legislation would require the Department of Public Instruction to create model policies for preventing and responding to teen dating violence in schools and incorporate teen dating violence curriculum into its age appropriate health education curriculum.
“Experiencing unhealthy relationship practices as a young adult can have lifelong negative impacts including increased risk for depression, anxiety, and substance abuse,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “Every parent wants to make sure their child has the skills to not only form healthy relationships, but to also identify abusive behavior by others. Giving students the proper knowledge and skills is critical in preventing teen dating violence and habitual abuse patterns. Incidents of emotional abuse, threatening behavior, and harassment are preventable and this proposal will go a long way to improve the health and well-being of Wisconsin teenagers.”
School-based violence prevention programs have been found to be most effective when they increase education to students and implement policies that create a supportive environment for victims and their peers to report abuse and seek help. According to End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, 20 percent of Wisconsin teens have experienced some form of violence in their dating relationships. Since 2000, 30 teenagers in Wisconsin have been the victim of intimate partner homicide.