February 2020: Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

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


WHEREAS, perpetrators of dating violence cause significant and long-lasting trauma to countless people of every age, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and socio-economic status; and,


WHEREAS, nearly 1.5 million high school students in the United States are physically abused by intimate 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 an intimate partner; and,


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


WHEREAS, 50 percent of youths who reported  dating violence and rape also reported suicide attempts, 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 survivors ever disclosed to anyone; and,


WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Victim Services and the entire state of Michigan are committed to holding perpetrators of dating violence accountable and employing interventions to reduce the risk and harm to survivors, including children; and,


WHEREAS, all Michigan residents should work toward ending teen dating violence by empowering young people to develop healthy relationships, assisting survivors in accessing information and support services, seeking education about this issue, advocating for 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 across Michigan;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim February 2020 as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month in Michigan.