First Annual Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
February has been named Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention month. Previously it was only recognized for one week. I hope that moving from one week to one month serves to better spread the awareness of an issue that faces too many of our young people today.
Mary Kay Inc. and the Mary Kay Foundation have a long-standing commitment to bring an end to domestic violence, and we became active in 2009 in the teen dating violence area. We've partnered with the non-profit group Break the Cycle to sponsor an interactive DVD called Ending Violence that can be easily used by school systems throughout our nation. Ending Violence helps to teach middle and high school students about healthy relationships and dating violence. Currently, one in three teens will experience abuse in a dating relationship and one in four eighth and ninth grade students report being victims of dating violence. We hope that by raising awareness in young people we can reduce or eradicate that number. You can see a sneak peek of the DVD program here:
While the creation of the Ending Violence program was a great start, it will only work if we get it in front of as many middle and high school students as possible. Here's where you can help. Currently, Oklahoma, Texas and Rhode Island are the only states that require domestic violence education programs in schools. You can do your part and demonstrate your support for this teen dating violence curriculum in our schools by signing the petition at www.enddatingviolence.com.
I encourage you to learn more about the Ending Violence program, and all the wonderful work that Break The Cycle does as the leading voice for teens on the issue of dating violence. Visit www.breakthecycle.org, and talk to a young person you know about this issue. By working together, we can make a difference.