Urge the California Department of Education to Mandate Sex-Ed and Domestic Abuse Courses
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At only 15 years old, I found myself in an extremely abusive relationship. Despite one semester of sex education during my freshman year that only briefly covered healthy and unhealthy relationships, by sophomore year, I was not prepared for what was to come. At the time of the relationship I was very unaware of what constituted as abuse so I allowed it to fester and become more severe for way longer than I should have. I thought I was the only one that this happened to, but the reality is much more frightening. The majority of people who suffer from domestic violence fall between the ranges of 16 to 24. These are the prime ages for people who are in high school and beginning college.
In California, domestic abuse rates are significantly higher than the rest of the nation. According to a Center for Disease Control (CDC) survey that was trying to measure rates of domestic violence in each state, the California results are higher than the nationwide average of 1 women in 4 who reported being the victim of intimate partner violence or stalking.
In order to stop the rise of domestic abuse and especially teen dating violence, legislated education and awareness on domestic abuse and teen dating violence is necessary for faculty, students, and possibly even parents. The California Department of Education will create a policy in which an education program throughout public and charter schools will be made a requirement by law to have these classes implemented in schools, if we can convince them. These classes will be taught in California throughout high school for 2+ years as a graduation requirement, informing students about what domestic abuse and teen dating violence looks like, the effects of it, how to prevent it, where to go if you are affected by it, and much more.
This is happening to the young people of California, it is important to put an end to the epidemic of teen dating violence and domestic abuse as rapidly as possible through the help of state government funded education. The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $6.8 billion each year, $4.1 billion of which is for direct medical and mental health services. People in abusive relationships typically need to go to the hospital a lot, as well as take time off at work meaning, domestic violence is sucking up all of our nation’s money. There is currently no law or policy mandating sex education in the state of California despite significant evidence that it has helped save the nation a lot of money.
According to a Huffington Post article, School health programs that educate students about healthy sexual behaviors to prevent unintended pregnancies and STDs have saved $2.65 in medical costs and lost productivity for every dollar invested in the program. A Brookings Institute report also found that broader publicly financed mass media campaigns, comprehensive teen pregnancy prevention programs, and expansions in government subsidized family planning services are estimated to save taxpayers between two and six dollars for every dollar spent on them.With such programs working in the past for STD and teen pregnancy prevention, we can save a lot more money being lost to domestic violence every year. Not only will comprehensive classes like these save money, they may also save lives.
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