Gov. LePage proclaims February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

From the Governor’s office today:

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul LePage on Tuesday proclaimed the month of February to be Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.

Members of the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, Family Violence Project and other violence awareness advocates joined the Governor at the State House as he signed the proclamation Tuesday morning.

“I sign this proclamation today with the hope that it will make a difference. There is no room for any type of violence in Maine and I will do everything I can to stop the abuse,” LePage said. “Violence awareness advocacy groups like the Family Violence Project are an intricate part of helping raise awareness and supporting victims of violence and I commend these organizations that are truly making a difference.”

The governor invited Mainers to join violence awareness advocates in helping to raise awareness on this important issue by encouraging statewide youth, families, schools, law enforcement communities, government agencies, elected officials, civic organizations and other interested groups to show support for the organizations and individuals who provide critical advocacy and services and assistance to victims.

The Proclamation is as follows:

WHEREAS, the youth of Maine are this State’s most precious resource and greatest hope for the future, and ensuring their safety, well-being, positive development and growth into healthy citizens is a priority and responsibility we all share;

WHEREAS, the transitional adolescent years present new challenges and choices for teens as they experience dating relationships for the first time;

WHEREAS, teen dating violence, including physical, verbal and emotional abuse, sexual assault, and harassment via texting, email or “instant messaging” is a reality for many teenagers in Maine and it is a reality of which many parents and caregivers are unaware;

WHEREAS, studies also indicate that effects of violent relationships can be serious and put victims at higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior, suicide and adult re-victimization; and

WHEREAS, both Houses of the U.S. Congress have declared February as “National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month,”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PAUL R. LEPAGE, Governor of the State of Maine, do hereby proclaim the month of February, 2012 to be TEEN DATING VIOLENCE AWARENESS & PREVENTION MONTH throughout the State of Maine, and urge all citizens to recognize this observance.