February 2021: 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, violating 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, and economic and social status; and,


WHEREAS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in 11 female and about one in 15 male high school students reported experiencing physical dating violence in the last year; and,


WHEREAS, about one in nine female and one in 36 male high school students reported experiencing sexual dating violence in the last year; and,


WHEREAS, 50 percent of youth who reported dating violence and rape also reported attempting suicide, which compares to 12.5 percent of non-abused girls and 5.4 percent of non-abused boys; and,


WHEREAS, only 33 percent of teenagers who were in an abusive relationship told anyone about the abuse; and,


WHEREAS, 26% of women and 15% of men who were victims of contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime first experienced these or other forms of violence by that partner before age 18; and,


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


WHEREAS, all Michigan residents should work toward ending teen dating violence by seeking education about this issue, empowering young people to develop healthy relationships, assisting victims in accessing the information and supportive services they need, creating better and more resources for young people, 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;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of the great state of Michigan, do hereby proclaim February 2021 as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month in Michigan.