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Guidelines to Teach Students About Dating Abuse and Domestic Violence in Development for Pennsylvania Schools

By Sheryl Rentz on July 28, 2011

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is developing a set of guidelines to help schools in the state teach students, teachers, and parents to recognize the signs of teen dating abuse and domestic violence and how to appropriately respond should such abuse and/or violence occur.

According to the article, a draft of the education and response guidelines were released by the PDE recently. While adopting the recommendations are not yet mandatory for schools in Pennsylvania, many hope schools will adopt them regardless.

Closely tied to the guidelines is the Demi Brea Cuccia Bill, sponsored by Rep. Scott Conklin (D-Centre County). Sixteen-year-old Cuccia was murdered by an ex-boyfriend in August of 2007. The bill would have made it mandatory for school districts in the state educate students regarding dating and domestic violence. The House overwhelmingly passed the bill, but it stalled in the Senate. The legislation was then amended in part into the school code for 2010 and was passed. Now, teen dating violence and domestic violence education is recommended for grades 9 through 12. Activists and legislators are working to make this education mandatory.

Studies have shown that as many as one in eleven high school-aged students in the U.S. are victims of physical abuse from a dating partner every year, according to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV). Other studies have also found that as many as one in five high school-aged girls have been abused sexually by a dating partner. Additionally, in a national survey taken by the PCADV in 2011, three out of four shelters in the U.S. have reported an increase in the number of women that are seeking assistance from abuse.

If you or someone you love has been a victim of domestic violence, there is help available to you. Consulting with a domestic violence attorney in Montgomery County can help you understand your legal rights as well as explain what options are available to remedy the situation, such as filing for a protection from abuse order (PFA). To find out how The Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz can help you during this difficult time, call us at 610-645-0100 for a free consultation.

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