Senator Boucher Calls For Educating Youth About Teen Dating Violence

February 3, 2009

Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) is proposing legislation that would require the state’s middle schools and high schools to include education about teen dating violence in their health curriculums. This issue may already be addressed by some school districts but can be overlooked by others.

“It is so important that we raise awareness about teen dating violence and make sure our young people understand that this type of behavior is not normal, that they should not tolerate it and, most importantly, that they should seek help if they are being victimized. Oftentimes, young people can be intimated by their partners due to their age or lack of dating experience. The abuse or violence can accelerate and lead to very serious injury,” said Senator Boucher, who is a former member and chair of the Wilton Board of Education and a former member of the Connecticut State Board of Education.

Senator Boucher’s proposed legislation, SB 474, An Act Concerning Teen Dating Violence Education, has been referred to the General Assembly’s Education Committee. Senator Boucher is a member of the Education Committee. She said it is important that Connecticut’s school districts implement policies against teen dating violence and ensure that students have the information they need to protect themselves by the time they start dating.

“What better time to raise awareness than now during Teen Dating Violence and Awareness Week (February 2-6), just before we celebrate Valentine’s Day? It is shocking just how prevalent teen dating violence is, and clear that it is up to us adults to do whatever we can to stop it,” said Senator Boucher.

Senator Boucher said that the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) and Liz Claiborne Inc. are supporting teen dating violence and awareness efforts across the country. According to a recent survey spearheaded by Liz Claiborne, nearly half of teen girls who have been in a relationship say they have been victims of verbal, physical, or sexual abuse by their boyfriends. Even more alarming is the fact that this abuse is starting in when students are between the ages of 11 and 14.

Senator Boucher added that Moms and Dads for Education (MADE) to Stop Teen Dating Abuse, is a nationwide coalition of parents, teachers and concerned citizens who are advocating legislation in every state to ensure that middle and high schools across the country are teaching curricula that enable students to identify and prevent dating relationship violence and abuse. Further information about their efforts is available at