New Wisconsin bill proposes dating violence education for teens

Abusive relationship patterns start at a young age

MADISON -- A Wisconsin bill that would require schools to educate young teenagers about dating violence has been introduced.

The legislation aims to stop abusive teens from becoming abusive adults by teaching 7th to 12th graders about consent, WISC-TV reports. 

Public policy coordinator Chase Tarrier with End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin says unhealthy and abusive relationship patterns start in adolescents as young as 12-years-old. 

The new bill would require Wisconsin school districts to develop a curriculum about dating violence for middle and high school students. It would also require schools to create a policy stating dating violence is not tolerable, and train staff to respond to abusive situations. 

"We know these behaviors are not something that come from nowhere. These are learned patterns of dangerous behavior that begin in teen years," Tarrier said.

Rep. Melissa Sargent, the primary author of the bill, said she will do everything she can to pass the measure and show students what a healthy relationship looks like. 

"Many of these kids may have never dated before. Everyone has their first time dating. And some of those kids come from homes where there may not be healthy relationships even in their homes," said Sargent. 

Twenty other states across the country have passed similar bills.

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