Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Thompson resolution brings awareness to key issue facing young people, families
RELEASE|February 8, 2024

An approved House resolution introduced by state Rep. Jamie Thompson shines a needed light on a trend that is impacting the well-being of Michigan’s kids.

Thompson’s HR 180 declares February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in Michigan. The measure addresses the alarming prevalence of teen dating violence and shows elected leaders in Michigan are prioritizing the issue and committed to taking proactive steps towards prevention and support for affected individuals.

“Raising awareness and fostering open conversations can lead to collaborative efforts and solutions,” said Thompson, of Brownstown. “The number of young people who have said they’ve witnessed or been a victim of this behavior is shocking. There is a pressing need to act, and I’m hopeful that measures and actions like what were taken today can start a conversation and help change a life.”

Studies have shown that up to 19 percent of teens experience sexual or physical dating violence. About 50 percent of teens encounter stalking or harassment and as many as 65 percent report being psychologically abused. Approximately 1.5 million high school boys and girls in the United States admitted to being hit or physically harmed by someone they are romantically involved with in the last year.

Thompson said the issue is personal for her, as her daughter entered into a relationship that eventually turned abusive. Thompson’s daughter, a mother to three children, lost her life in 2021 at the age of 24 in an incident related to the abusive partner.

“Despite our attempts as parents to guide her toward healthier choices, the signs of abuse became apparent and I witnessed the toll this took on her life, friendships, self-esteem and overall well-being,” Thompson said. “Her story, documented in journal entries, revealed a cycle of abuse with someone beginning when she was 15. It’s a poignant reminder of the critical importance of addressing and working to prevent this abuse and violence for kids throughout our state.”

Thompson said despite legal protections in Michigan for young adults, many adolescents find themselves in relationships they cannot handle and need additional resources.

“To truly combat teen dating violence, we must equip educators and parents with tools to identify signs of abuse and emphasize the importance of fostering self-worth in our children,” Thompson said. “This is a serious issue facing our families. I hope we can send a message by raising awareness, committing to doing better, protecting our children and preventing further tragedies within our communities.”

PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Jamie Thompson speaks on House Resolution 180 before the Michigan House on Wednesday, Feb. 7. The resolution, which was approved overwhelmingly by the House, declares February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in Michigan.

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