Legislation Preventing Teen Relationship Abuse Passes Senate Education Committee

SB 592 Prioritizes Adolescent Safety in Schools and Communities

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

SACRAMENTO – The Healthy Relationships and Safe Schools Act, authored by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino), today passed from the Senate Education Committee with bipartisan support.

Co-sponsored by the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence and the Women’s Foundation of California Policy Institute, SB 592 strives to end adolescent relationship abuse by promoting education on healthy relationships in schools.  This also requires California schools to train staff and administrators regarding adolescent relationship abuse, as well as provide annual notice to parents and guardians of the adolescent relationship abuse policies and available community-based resources.  Moreover, under SB 592, school safety plans would also be required to include procedures and policies to prevent and respond to incidents of adolescent relationship abuse in middle and high schools.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found that nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.  According to the California Student Survey (CSS), 3% of 9th graders and 7% of 11th graders reported at least one incident of physical dating violence.  Additionally, victims of dating violence or sexual coercion are three times more likely to receive more D’s and F’s in school than A’s.

“As teen dating abuse is still a major problem in schools and communities throughout California, SB 592 is a logical step to helping ensure a safer learning environment for our students,” Senator Leyva said.  “In order to most effectively address this ongoing problem, SB 592 highlights the importance of schools in preventing and responding to incidents of teen relationship abuse.  I thank my colleagues on the Senate Education Committee for recognizing the vital importance of this legislation that will have a clear impact on the safety and wellbeing of all California’s students.”

The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence—a co-sponsor of this important legislation—continues to articulate and advocate for the crucial need for SB 592.

“We're thrilled that the Senate Education Committee understood just how much this bill will impact California students. When youth understand healthy relationships and school leaders are supportive, academic achievements and school environments are stronger,” noted Kathy Moore, Executive Director at the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence.

SB 592 will next be considered in the Senate Appropriations Committee.