Rhode island dating violence
Several other states encourage awareness education on dating violence, and momentum is gaining behind efforts to legislate its inclusion in public school curricula.
In Rhode Island, Attorney General Patrick Lynch guided the bill through the Legislature.
Ann Burke saw signs of trouble with her daughter's boyfriend.
He'd incessantly call her at night, keep her from her family, and, ultimately, physically abuse her during a tumultuous relationship that ended with her death three years ago.
Abusive behaviors that could be precursors to violence include incessant telephoning or texting, keeping a partner away from his or her family, physical control, and verbal abuse.
A new law in Rhode Island called the Lindsay Ann Burke Act requires all public middle and high schools to teach students about dating violence in their health classes.In health classes for seventh- through 12th-graders, Rhode Island school districts this year are expected to begin incorporating lessons on how to identify and avoid dating violence.The Lindsay Anne Burke Act makes Rhode Island the second state to require such lessons, after Texas.The initiative was spearheaded by Burke and her husband, Chris, who say schools should be obligated to teach teens the warning signs of abusive relationships and broach the subject head-on so victims feel empowered to get help and leave violent partners.
And by December, officials hope to have an established policy on responding to incidents of dating violence.
In class, teachers focus as much on nurturing good relationships and communication skills as on avoiding abusive relationships.