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Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month 2011 was a success!

Blog post

The first week in February had been recognized as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Week since 2006 and 2010 was the first Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (TDVAPM) where the entire month was claimed and the focus was expanded to include prevention as well as awareness. TDVAPM is an opportunity to bring focus to the issue of teen dating violence at the local, state and national levels at the same time. 

It seems that 2011 was the year that TDVAPM really began to take off. 

National attention to TDVAPM soared (including a powerful Presidential Proclamation). Advocates and community partners in California raised awareness about teen dating violence and promoted respectful, nonviolent relationships through local proclamations, educational events, media outreach, and other efforts. More than 25 agencies in California (that we know of) organized over 40 TDVAPM events. The cities of Berkeley, Gridley, Hayward and Oakland, the counties of Alameda, Kern, Humboldt and Solano, and Fremont Unified School District adopted TDVAPM proclamations.

Youth and adult advocates, including Dawn Watkins (third from left) from Humboldt Domestic Violence Services in Eureka, showing the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors TDVAPM Proclamation, 2/17/2011

Did we miss your event or proclamation? Please email to tell us about it! 

The Partnership worked with Assembly Member Fiona Ma and WEAVE to organize aninformation hearing at the Capitol in Sacramento for the Assembly Select Committee on Domestic Violence. The hearing was attended by Assembly Members Susan Bonilla, Betsy Butler, Ricardo Lara, Dr. Richard Pan, Paul Fong and Norma Torres and 100 audience members. The hearing also received noteworthy media coverage. Legislators heard testimony from over 20 people who offered personal insights and lessons from model programs, including youth leaders, prominent researchers, coaches, parents, prevention educators and advocates. 

We sponsored Assembly Member Susan Bonilla’s Assembly Concurrent Resolution 29 declaring February 2011 as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month in California. The resolution provided information about the prevalence and dynamics of TDV and encouraged Californians to observe the month with appropriate programs and activities that prevent teen dating violence and promote healthy teen relationships in their communities.

We also co-sponsored Peace Over Violence’s Third Annual Violence Free Teens Conference: Middle School Matters. Youth service providers, educators, advocates, violence prevention activists, and teens exchanged information about current innovations and resources in teen dating and sexual violence prevention.

Although we did not and cannot accomplish all of our strategic goals in one short month, we will benefit from the focused efforts during February 2011 for the rest of the year. More important than the number of activities is how those activities advance our strategic goals. For the Partnership, our long-term strategic goal is to promote community environments that support safe and healthy youth relationships throughfamily-school-community partnerships. Our immediate policy goal is to amend California’s Education Code to: 1) authorize schools to provide education to promote healthy relationships and prevent teen dating violence in grades 7 to 12; and 2) direct the Superintendent of Public Instruction to provide information about model programs on its website.  

By working together and linking our TDVAPM activities to our long-term goal, we stretched our people power and resources to the fullest to have the greatest possible impact. Congratulations California!