Press Releases

Kuster, Molinaro Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Prevent Teen Dating Violence

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (D-NH) and Congressman Marc Molinaro (R-NY) introduced the Teen Dating Violence Prevention Act, bipartisan legislation to equip young people with the tools and education to engage in healthy relationships. The bill directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a grant program to provide schools and youth-serving organizations with funding opportunities to develop tools and educational resources aimed at recognizing and preventing teen dating violence.

Full bill text is available here.

“As a mother of two, I recognize the importance of ensuring young people have the emotional skill sets and education necessary to build healthy, fulfilling relationships,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “The evidence is clear: exposure to violence and abuse in adolescent relationships have short and long-term negative impacts on teens’ physical and mental health. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to equip our youth with the education and tools they need to recognize the signs of dating violence so that they can experience stronger, healthier, and happier relationships.”

"I’m proud to join Rep. Kuster in introducing this bipartisan bill. By helping schools and youth organizations provide educational resources to promote healthy relationships, we will take a crucial step to end abuse and dating violence. These resources will allow more young people to recognize dating violence and prevent others from being victimized," said Congressman Molinaro.

“We applaud Congresswoman Kuster’s initiative to combat teen dating violence by introducing this important legislation. Primary prevention efforts are the most underfunded interventions and yet often make the biggest impact on our statewide efforts to end teen dating violence. We are grateful for the Congresswoman’s ongoing leadership in the area of violence prevention,” said Amanda Grady, Director of Public Affairs at the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence. 

“We thank Reps. Kuster and Molinaro for introducing the Teen Dating Violence Prevention Act. This legislation provides essential tools and resources to schools and organizations, enabling young people to make informed choices and cultivate healthy relationships, laying the foundation for a safer and healthier tomorrow,” said Katie Ray-Jones, from the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

The CDC estimates that one in three teens will experience some form of abuse or violence in their relationships. Teen Dating Violence (TVD) can occur in person, online, or through digital technology and can include physical and sexual violence, financial abuse, psychological aggression, or stalking. Teens who are victims of dating violence are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation; engage in tobacco, drugs, and alcohol use; and exhibit antisocial behaviors, such as lying, theft, and bullying.  

Specifically, the Teen Dating Violence Prevention Act would provide funding for partnerships to: 

  • Develop evidence-based materials and in-and out-of-school workshops for students, teachers, parents, and relevant staff to raise awareness about recognizing, preventing, and safely reporting dating violence and healthy relationships education;
  • Provide evidence-based professional development for school and organization staff on recognizing the signs of dating violence and how to intervene; and  
  • Recruit and retain domestic and sexual violence professionals to develop educational resources or provide training on teen dating violence and healthy relationships.

The legislation is endorsed by the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence, Futures Without Violence, Afterschool Alliance, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline Love is Respect project.