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A national poll found that 43% of college women have experienced violent and abusive dating behaviors, and 15% of all college students have been the victim of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or threats of physical violence.
Older dating couples who are not cohabitating also experience abuse to a surprising degree.
Kentucky House Bill 98 would have introduced a series of educational and policy requirements regarding teen dating violence for school districts and high school educational staff.
It failed in the Senate – and this was even after a committee amendment gutted both the requirement that every school board adopt a policy related to teen dating violence and the statewide data collection system to compile reports of teen dating violence.
Kentucky currently provides protections to people who aren’t married to their abusers only if they lived with them or had a child with them, but this excludes a wide swath of dating relationships from consideration in a civil case.
After passing the House and clearing the Senate Judiciary Committee for the first time, this bill couldn’t even garner enough support to come to a vote in the Senate; it was adjourned ‘sine die’ (for an indefinite period), which is essentially equivalent to letting a bill die.
So the Kentucky State Senate doesn’t want to educate teenagers about healthy dating practices – and when those teenagers and young adults end up in actual abusive relationships, the Senate certainly doesn’t want to help them get the protection they need.
This kind of argument is a tough sell for some people, the kinds who are only concerned about cost savings.
But even though arguments on the grounds of financial strain initially sound reasonable, these claims aren’t true.