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Orange Day Rally builds awareness of teen dating violence, support for solutions
Speakers urge California schools to take action

Press release

February 14, 2018

Media Contact: Jessica Merrill, Communications Manager | (916) 444-7163, x118

Orange Day Rally builds awareness of teen dating violence, support for solutions

Speakers urge California schools to take action

SACRAMENTO — The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence yesterday held a rally to address teen dating violence, which impacts one in four young people annually.[1] Legislators, youth and adult advocates, and a local education leader discussed the role of schools in fostering healthy relationship skills and helping prevent domestic violence in adulthood.

 “We know that abusive relationships are impacting young people in our state right now—and they’re happening in California schools”, said California Partnership to End Domestic Violence Executive Director, Kathy Moore. “I’m here to say…educators, we need your help to create a different reality for young people.”

Research shows that students getting Ds & Fs are three times more likely to report being in abusive relationships than those getting As.[2] There has been a growing desire for schools to address student trauma and well-being. Recent EdSource data shows that this is important to Californians: 74% of voters ranked “creating a safe and positive school environment” as their top priority for schools’ performance.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 94 officially proclaimed February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, and Joint Author Senator Connie Leyva emphasized the importance of school involvement: “We need to start in grammar school, and continue it in middle school and high school. Young people need to know what healthy relationships look like.”

February’s awareness month also had local support: Michael Minnick, a School Board Member with the Sacramento City Unified School District, recently helped pass a resolution.

At the rally, Minnick said, “Those of us in California schools have this great opportunity and this responsibility to address this…what that means is making sure school staff know what to look for, and how to intervene when they see abusive behavior on campus; it means making sure that all students have an opportunity to participate in domestic violence prevention programs and educational curriculum in their classrooms; and it means that we all need to communicate our commitment to a safe environment at every school for all students and for all staff.”    

The Partnership encourages every school district in California to establish a policy that incorporates these recommendations—and asks schools to build relationships with their local domestic violence programs, so they can appropriately support young people when they need it.

Senator Jim Beall said, “For many, the first step to leaving an abusive relationship is knowing where they can get help. Raising awareness of these important services is critical.’’

Using the Partnership and California School Boards Association’s joint governance brief, education policymakers can learn more about dating abuse and school policies to address it.

“We must continue to promote healthy relationships, and train our education leaders who have a special role in supporting our students!” said Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio.

About the Partnership

The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (the Partnership) is California’s recognized domestic violence coalition, representing over 1,000 advocates, organizations and allied individuals across the state. Working at the local, state and national levels for nearly 40 years, the Partnership has a long track record of successfully passing over 200 pieces of legislation on behalf of domestic violence victims and their children. The Partnership believes that by sharing expertise, advocates and legislators can end domestic violence. Through our public policy, communications and capacity building programs, we create system-wide change that supports survivors and invests in prevention. Every day we inspire, inform and connect all those concerned with this issue, because together we’re stronger. With offices in Sacramento, the Partnership’s member programs span the entire state. For more information, visit

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[1] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2009). Unintentional Injury and Violence-Related Behaviors and Academic Achievement. Atlanta, GA: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Dating Matters: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships.