Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month February 4, 2020 WHEREAS, all Alaskans have the right to experience a healthy and safe relationship, free of abuse; and it is of utmost importance that adequate education about healthy relationships be available to Alaska’s youth, as well as safe shelter for those who are experiencing abuse from a dating partner; and WHEREAS, teen dating violence is a serious violation that can affect a person’s physical and emotional health, personal development, and sense of self. Dating violence can take many forms, including physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, and can be perpetuated in person or through electronic communication and social media; and WHEREAS, an abusive relationship can lead to depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol use, and thoughts of suicide. The trauma from an abusive relationship can follow a person throughout their lifetime and continue to have detrimental effects on their wellbeing. It can occur in any type of relationship, whether it is a long-term and monogamous relationship, or a casual and short-term relationship; and WHEREAS, according to the 2017 Alaska Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 1,700 students (5.5 percent) in Alaska’s traditional high school programs experienced sexual dating violence one or more times during the past year and nearly 2,300 (7.3 percent) experienced physical dating violence one or more times during the past year; and WHEREAS, it is vital that as a state, we are providing young Alaskans the tools and education necessary to acknowledge, prevent, and avoid abuse in relationships. NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim February 2020 as: Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to take a proactive role in ending dating violence by seeking out education on healthy relationships and fostering safe and healthy environments for all individuals in every community.