About the Program
Every year since 2006, United States Senator Mike Crapo (Idaho) has led unanimous, bi-partisan support among Congress members in the House and Senate to designate the first week of February "National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Week" in an effort to bring more public awareness to a problem confronting today's teens. Senate co-sponsors have included Senators Joseph Biden, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Joe Lieberman, Robert Menendez, Patty Murray and Lisa Murkowski. ( NOTE: For specific information about Senator Crapo and this initiative, visit his website )
For the first National Awareness Week in 2006, the American Bar Association developed and distributed nationally 1,000 Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Toolkits. The project was originally sponsored by the ABA Steering Committee on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children and co-sponsored by the ABA Center on Children and the Law and Commission on Domestic Violence along with several other nonprofit organizations. Funding came from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention.
The ABA Division for Public Education and the Commission on Youth at Risk recently introduced elements of the Toolkit as a curricular component of a new partnership between the ABA and the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. The curriculum, "Take Charge: Violence Prevention, Conflict Resolution & Law," has evolved into a national pilot program through which hundreds of teen Girl Scouts in 11 major U.S. cities are being introduced to the teen dating facts, warning signs, and prevention recommendations. At the conclusion of the program, girls participate in a mock trial involving domestic abuse, with volunteer lawyers and law students coaching the girls through their roles. Since its inception, Toolkit elements have been used by high schools and community organizations across the nation and in U.S. territories, as well as by military base schools and schools that serve military families in the U.S. and abroad.
We hope that you, too, can integrate these Toolkit elements into your curricular or extracurricular programming plans and/or otherwise share these resources to raise awareness and promote healthy teen relationships.