Governor Proclaims February as ‘Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month’

February 15, 2013

For Immediate Release: Friday, Feb. 15
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA – A new video highlights Governor Paul R. LePage speaking about his personal experience with domestic abuse and encouraging teenagers to recognize the signs of unhealthy relationships. The Office of the Governor announced Friday that the video, which was taken in the State House Hall of Flags during Domestic Violence Awareness Day, is available for Mainers to view on the Governor’s website.

The link to the video is available at the Office of the Governor website and on Governor LePage’s official YouTube page.

As part of that awareness day, Governor LePage toured nearly a dozen booths of organizations working throughout Maine to prevent domestic violence, including the Family Violence Project and the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence. The Governor also signed a proclamation proclaiming February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.

The proclamation language 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; and

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

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; and

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 recognize February, 2013 as TEEN DATING VIOLENCE AWARENESS & PREVENTION MONTH throughout the State of Maine, and urge all citizens to recognize this observance.