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When 16-year-old Marisa began to suspect that her best friend was in an abusive relationship, she knew how to help.

Thanks to a teen ambassador program offered through a local domestic violence agency, Marisa knew how to talk to her friend about the warning signs of teen dating violence. Along with weekly classes on topics such as dating violence and empowerment, which helped Marisa know what to look for and how to talk about such a difficult subject, Marisa received handouts that she could share with her classmates. She reviewed one of these handouts with her friend, who agreed, “Yes, I need help.”

Now, Marisa’s best friend is seeing a counselor on a regular basis, and she is connected to the resources she needs to have healthier relationships – and a better future.

 As you know, domestic violence is epidemic, impacting the lives of millions of adults each year. But it starts well before adulthood, with teen dating abuse affecting 1 in 4 youth each year (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). This type of trauma has long-term consequences for students’ well-being, safety, and academic performance.

You know that youth deserve better – and that laying a foundation for healthy relationships at this crucial time will result in a future free from domestic violence. This year, thanks to supporters like you, we at the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence convinced California lawmakers to add $20 million to the state budget for domestic and sexual violence prevention and services.

These funds will allow organizations to expand prevention efforts – and will give more youth like Marisa and her friend the resources to have positive relationships now and in the future.

But there’s so much more work to be done! In 2019, with your help, we’ll renew our fight by educating California’s legislature about the potential for real impact if they increase and sustain investments in prevention. As a nonprofit, we rely on community support to help us educate elected officials and make change happen across our state.

With a tax-deductible donation, you can help make long-lasting change and stop DV for future generations. Can we count on you today? Donate here!

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