June 11, 2015 – Updated July 22, 2015
Update: Victory! – Thanks to activists for helping to get The Teach Safe Relationships Act passed by the Senate on July 16th as part of the Every Child Achieves Act which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This legislation uses grants to encourage schools to educate middle and high school students about what it means to have truly safe relationships with oneself, partners, and other community members. Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) and Alma Adams (NC-12) have now introduced this act (H.R.3141) in the House. We hope the Teach Safe Relationships Act will be included in the final conference bill and we urge you to ask your house member to support this important legislation.
According to the CDC Foundation, domestic violence and violence against women and children is a global epidemic.
In the U.S.,
- 10.5 percent of high school girls, and 4.2 percent of high school boys, have been forced to have sexual intercourse, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- 48 percent of students grades 7-12 experienced sexual harassment at school during the school year.
- The CDC recommends providing age-appropriate training in healthy relationship behavior beginning at an early age, while behavior is modifiable.
- Safe relationship behavior education teaches students to recognize and prevent physical and emotional relationship abuse, sexual violence and sexual harassment and promotes safe relationships. The bill also covers what constitutes consent as well as teaching about emotional health and well-being in relationships.
- This legislation was originally introduced by Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
Sexual violence is at epidemic levels, and we need to institute prevention efforts like we would for any other public health epidemic. Please ask your representative to support the Teach Safe Relationships Act.
Thank you for taking action to keep our children safe.