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; and
WHEREAS, dating violence is a pattern of behavior involving the use or threat of physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and/or other abusive behavior to harm, harass, or control another person with whom they have or had an intimate relationship; and
WHEREAS, dating violence can result in long-lasting pain, increased risk of substance abuse, depression and suicide, poor academic performance, engaging in risky or unhealthy behaviors, and further risk of future abuse from a partner in adulthood; and
WHEREAS, nationally, young women between the ages of 16-19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of sexual violence, and one in ten high school students have reported experiencing physical violence from a partner in the last year alone; and
WHEREAS, according to the Alaska Youth Risk Behavior Survey, there has been an increase of both physical dating violence and sexual dating violence among Alaska’s traditional high school students between 2017 and 2019 – physical dating violence increased from 7.3% to 9.7% and sexual dating violence increased from 5.5% to 7%. Since 2013 rates of both physical and sexual dating violence had been decreasing, so the increase from 2017 to 2019 is concerning; and
WHEREAS, the prevalence of sexual and intimate partner violence is a major public health concern in Alaska, therefore, 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 2021 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.