Michigan High Schools, Nonprofits Receive Updated, Free Materials To Educate Teenagers About Dating Violence

LANSING, MI — The Michigan Domestic Violence Prevention & Treatment Board (MDVPTB), administratively housed in the Michigan Department of Human Services, today unveiled a new, updated package for educating teenagers about dating violence that will be distributed to high schools and domestic violence organizations across Michigan. The materials, funded significantly through a $14,200 grant from Verizon Wireless, were introduced at a press conference at Eastern High School in Lansing, Mich.

Originally developed by MDVPTB in 2002, the improved educational kit is designed for educators and counselors to help teenagers identify if they are in an abusive relationship, understand their rights and learn how to get help. The package includes the following: background information on teen dating violence, lesson plans and educator sheets to guide teachers in presenting the issue to students, surveys and resource handouts for students and posters in English and Spanish.

With one in five female high school students reporting being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner1, there is a strong need to educate this impressionable age group about this important issue.

"The damaging cycle of domestic violence often begins with partner abuse among our youth," said Greg Haller, president—Michigan/Indiana/Kentucky Region, Verizon Wireless. "The Michigan Domestic Violence Prevention & Treatment Board did a phenomenal job developing this outstanding resource. This package provides educators with an interactive, engaging way to stress that abuse, of any kind and at any age, is not acceptable."

"Thanks to the generosity of Verizon Wireless, we are placing our resources in the hands of individuals across Michigan who are equally as committed as we are to ending teen dating violence," said Marianne Udow, director, Michigan Department of Human Services. "As our tagline on the package says, 'Dating violence is a big deal.' Unfortunately, thousands of teens experience the emotional and physical trauma of dating violence every day in this country. This project is an important step in our ongoing efforts to eliminate dating and domestic violence in Michigan."

Teachers and nonprofit organizations interested in receiving a package can contact the MDVPTB at www.michigan.gov/domesticviolence.

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About MDVPTB The Michigan Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Board (MDVPTB) was established and placed within what is now known as the Department of Human Services in 1978 by state legislation that created a Governor-appointed Board responsible for focusing state activity on domestic violence. The Board administers state and federal funding for domestic violence programs and advocacy services, develops and recommends policy, and develops and provides technical assistance and training.

1 Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidality." Journal of American Medicine, Vol. 286, No. 5, August 2001.