Many states are working towards making prevention education of sexual assault, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, and teen dating violence mandated in school systems as well as mandating that schools have a response plan for these specific acts of violence or intimidation. Here is a sample of what has been accomplished so far.
Also, see the affirmative consent tracker for list of pending policy and legislation.
*NOTE: if you have additional legislation in your state, please email [email protected] to get this information up on to the wiki!
October 2015, California passed SB 695, which requires that public high schools teach students:
- Affirmative consent
- Information on forms of sexual harassment and violence, and prevention strategies
- Legal aspects of sexual harassment and violence
In 2014, California passed SB 967, which requires all colleges receiving state funding for financial aid to, among other things:
- Provide sexual violence information as part of campus orientation
- Include dating and domestic violence and stalking information in new student orientation programs and campus websites,
- Provide information about prevention to faculty, staff, and students.
In 2014, Connecticut passed Public Act No. 14-11 which, among other things, requires that public and private colleges in the state provide more robust prevention programs and partner with local sexual assault crisis centers.
The Florida Legislature passed CS/HB 467 which provides that comprehensive health education taught in public schools shall include components on teen dating violence & abuse for students in grades 7 through 12,
- requires district school boards to adopt & implement dating violence & abuse policy,
- requires DOE to develop model a policy,
- and requires school personnel training.
See the links below for the final bill and staff analysis
As of July 1, 2011, Indiana adopted legislation which states that the DOE must provide teen dating violence and interpersonal violence prevention. You can read more about this legislation through these links:
NJ passed a Harassment Intimidation and Bullying law last year (2011) that includes the need to focus on primary prevention efforts/programs to prevent harassment, Intimidation and bullying (HIB) in schools. Check this link out for more details: http://www.state.nj.us/education/students/safety/behavior/hib/
6A:16-5.2 School Violence Awareness Week
Each district board of education shall observe “School Violence Awareness Week”
during the week beginning with the third Monday in October of each year by organizing
activities to prevent school violence according to N.J.S.A. 18A:36-5.1.
1. The district board of education’s activities shall include, but are not limited to,
age-appropriate opportunities for student discussion on conflict resolution, issues
of student diversity and tolerance.
2. The district board of education shall invite law enforcement personnel to join
members of the teaching staff in the discussions.
3. The district board of education shall provide programs for school board
employees that are designed to help them recognize warning signs of school
violence and to instruct them on recommended conduct during an incident of
4. The district board of education shall hold an annual public hearing on violence
and vandalism pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:17-46 and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.3.
see 6A:16-7.9 Intimidation, harassment and bullying here:
Policy Compliance Checklist:
July 2015, New York passed S5965 which requires all colleges and universities in the State of New York to, among other things:
- Implement uniform prevention and response policies and procedures relating to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
It is the policy of the State University of New York (University) to comply with legal requirements of 20 USC §1092 (f) and §6432 of Article 129-A of NYS Education Law. Accordingly, the Board of Trustees of the University has adopted written rules for campuses for providing information to incoming students regarding sexual assault and its prevention.
Implementation Guidelines are provided in this document: NYS CAMPUS IMPLEMENTATION GUIDELINES final (2).pdf
- 105 KB
Passed the Healthy Youth Act of 2009, (2009 N.C. Sess. Laws c.213; 2009 House Bill 88) which has new standards for health education, including healthy relationships. Here is a link to a page with more information: http://www.nchealthyschools.org/rhse
On June 25, 2009 the North Carolina legislature ratified into law the Healthy Youth Act of 2009 which modifies GS 115c(e1) the School Health Education Act. This Healthy Youth Act of 2009 redefines what is to be included in the human sexuality education component of health education instruction in North Carolina’s 7 th, 8 th, and High School health education classrooms.
The Healthy Youth Act does not define instructional minutes and it recommends that policies be in place for notifying parents and legal guardians about the opportunity to review instructional materials before use as well as opportunities for parents and legal guardians to consent or to withhold consent to participate in any or all portion of health education instruction should be in place prior to instructional delivery. The bill doesn’t do away with abstinence only education, but it does mandate other curricula be added on such as contraception, STIs, etc.
Two bills in 2009, HB 19 which is prevention and HB 10 which provides for civil protection orders issued against teens who are accused of violence. H19 mandates education about violence in dating relationships for grades 7 – 12, updating of the harassment, intimidation, and bullying policy to include “violence in dating relationships,” and mandates specified staff members to be trained about violence in dating relationships by October 2011 and every five years after the initial inservice training takes place.
The bill requires each school district board of education to incorporate dating violence into their policies prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying; include training on dating violence prevention in the in-service training in the prevention of child abuse, violence, and substance abuse and the promotion of positive youth development required under continuing law; and include instruction in dating violence prevention education in grades 7 through 12. To help school districts with these requirements, the bill requires the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to incorporate dating violence into its model policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying and to provide links to free dating violence prevention curriculum on its web site.
Legislation is in effect as of Jan 1, 2013, regarding prevention education and sexual assault services. You can click here to read the legislation: http://www.leg.state.or.us/12reg/measpdf/hb4000.dir/hb4077.en.pdf
In Puerto Rico we have legislation which mandates primary prevention on child maltreatment. The link is http://www.lexjuris.com/lexlex/Leyes2011/lexl2011246.htm
Under Title 59, Chapter 105, every institution of higher learning in South Carolina must have a written sexual assault policy that includes programming for sexual assault awareness and prevention, among other things.
TX Education Code 37.0831 mandates that each school district in Texas adopt and implement a dating violence policy, TCFV has been working with a statewide interagency group to develop model policies and collaborate with the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Association of School Boards for effective implementation of the new law.
Below are the 7 standards to ensure compliance with the code. While there are many ways to come into compliance with this new legislation we do not recommend one single program or curriculum to serve this purpose. If you have questions regarding a program or curricula you are interested in, please contact the Prevention Team at [email protected].
- Include a definition of dating violence in your dating violence policy
- Address safety planning
- Address enforcement of protective orders
- Include school-based alternatives to protective orders
- Address training for teachers and administrators
- Address counseling for affected students
- Include awareness education for students and parents.
In 2009 ACT 1 was passed and included some backing for primary prevention as well as much around response improvement. Primary Prevention supports included:
• Amended the state definition of “comprehensive health education” to include a new
requirement to teach students how to recognize and prevent sexual abuse and sexual
violence (section 3, effective July 1, 2011);
• Directed the Commissioners of Education and Children and Families to work with the
state’s Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force (SVPTF) and others to develop technical
assistance materials for schools to create and implement sexual violence prevention
education (section 3a);
- These materials can been seen here: http://dcf.vermont.gov/stepup
- Directed schools to check multiple criminal registries and recheck them again for employees in 5 years.
- Requires school boards to provide information or instruction to all adults employed in
schools about sexual abuse; also requires school boards to make the same kind of
information available to parents, guardians, and other interested persons (section 9,
effective July 1, 2010);
• Requires licensed child care facilities to train all employees about sexual abuse and
mandatory reporting, based on materials provided by AHS and the Department of
Education (section 10, effective July 1, 2009);
• Directs the Agency of Human Services to work with the SVPTF to raise community
awareness about sexual abuse, and to create and implement a community outreach
plan (section 11)
§ The SVPTF created the Technical Assistance Resource Guide (TARG) which can be seen here: http://education.vermont.gov/new/pdfdoc/pgm_health_ed/publications_resources/educ_health_ed_TARG.pdf
Link to the full legislation (ACT 1) AN ACT RELATING TO IMPROVING VERMONT’S SEXUAL ABUSE RESPONSE SYSTEM: http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2010/Acts/Act001.pdf
The UN Women Handbook on Legislation on Violence against Women has some examples of states legislating for awareness raising campaigns, education activities, etc – including examples from Spain, Mexico and Chile of legislation mandating changes to school curricula. I’ll paste the link below, pp.28-30: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/vaw/v-handbook.htm
The legislation module on the Virtual Knowledge Centre – a whopping 1,050 pages on paper, has numerous references to mandated legislation on primary prevention from various countries. For the filtered search, see – http://www.endvawnow.org/en/search/advanced/#/1/prevention/8/A/B/ .
Also, the new Council of Europe Convention, only the second such binding convention in the world, includes primary prevention (see chapter 3) http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/EN/treaties/html/210.htm.
Many countries are unaware that despite development by the Council of Europe, this Convention can be ratified by any country.
National Conference of State Legislatures, information on state school-based teen dating violence legislation: http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/health/teen-dating-violence.aspx
Description of Law
Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §15-712.01 Allows school districts to incorporate dating abuse information that is age appropriate into the school district’s existing health curriculum for pupils in grades seven through twelve.
2010 Conn. Acts, P.A. 91 (2010 HB 5315) Includes teen dating violence and domestic violence education as part of the in-service training program for certified teachers, administrators and pupil personnel.
2010 Conn. Acts, P.A. 137 (2010 HB 5246) Requires the Commissioner of Public Health to develop one public service announcement issued by the Department of Public Health through a televised broadcast for the purpose of preventing teen dating and family violence.
2010 Fla. Laws, Chap. 217 (2010 SB 642/HB 467) Requires a comprehensive health education taught in the public schools to include a component on teen dating violence and abuse for students in grades 7 through 12. Would require district school boards to adopt and implement a dating violence and abuse policy and provides policy requirements. Also would require the Department of Education to develop a model policy that includes school personnel training.
Fla. Stat. § 784.046 A victim of dating violence that has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of another act of dating violence, or any person who has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of an act of dating violence, or the parent or legal guardian of any minor child who is living at home and who seeks an injunction for protection against dating violence on behalf of that minor child, has standing in the circuit court to file a restraining order against the accused dating violence abuser.
Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-314 (2003 SB 346) The State Board of Education is required to develop a rape prevention and personal safety education program and a program for preventing teen dating violence for grades 8 through 12. Local boards may implement such programs at any time and for any grade level local boards find appropriate, and the state board shall encourage the implementation of such programs. In addition, the state board shall make information regarding such programs available to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.
Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 105, §110/3 (2009 HB 973) Amends the Critical Health Problems and Comprehensive Health Education Act. Provides that the Comprehensive Health Education Program may include instruction on teen dating violence for specified grade levels.
Ill. Laws, P.A. 95-876 (2007 SB 2023/HB 1330) Requires the State Board of Education to convene an Ensuring Success in School Task Force to develop policies and procedures for addressing the educational and related needs of youth who are parents, expectant parents, or victims of domestic or sexual violence to ensure their ability to stay in school, and successfully complete their education. Adds one member appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate and one member appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives to the Task Force. The Task Force will issue a final report to the General Assembly in Spring of 2009.
Ind. Code §20-19-3-10 Requires the department of education to identify or develop model dating violence education materials and a model for dating violence response policies and reporting.
La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §17.81 Requires the governing authority of each public school to provide students in grades seven through 12 enrolled in health education instruction about teen dating violence.
Md. Education Code. Ann. §7-411.1 Allows the state board of education to encourage county boards to incorporate age-appropriate lessons on dating violence into the county boards’ health education curriculum.
2010 Mass. Acts, Chap. 256 (2010 SB 2583) Requires school districts to implement a specific policy to address teen dating violence in public schools. These policies are required to clearly state that teen dating violence will not be tolerated, and need to include guidelines for addressing alleged incidents of teen dating violence.
2010 Mass. Acts, Chap. 92 (2010 SB 2404) Requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish standards that will provide for instruction in the issues of nutrition, physical education, AIDS education, violence prevention, including teen dating violence, bullying prevention, conflict resolution and drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse prevention.
Neb. Rev. Stat.§ 43 Sec. 79-2,142 (2009 LB 63) (originally LB 64, but added to LB 63 during session) Section 43-47 adopts the Lindsay Burke Act passed in Rhode Island in 2007. Would require the state department of education to develop a model policy for schools to address teen dating violence through their curriculum.
N.J. Stat. Ann. §18A:35-4.23 (2003 SB 487/AB 3081) Creates the Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Education Fund and allows the board of education to teach the psychology and dynamics of teen dating violence when appropriate in elementary, middle and high school.
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §3313.60, 3313.666, and 3319.073 (2009 HB 19) Enacts the Tina Croucher Act. Requires school districts to adopt a dating violence prevention policy and to include dating violence prevention education within the health education curriculum.
2007 HB119 (Appropriations Bill) Requires the Franklin County Child and Family Health Services to support the Compdrug Teen Dating Violence Prevention Project. Comp Drug Inc. is an organization that offers services in prevention, intervention and treatment programs for persons with substance abuse problems and the largest provider of institutional and community based corrections programs.
2010 Pa. Laws, Act 104 (2010 HB 101) Amends the terms and courses of study in the Public School Code of 1949 and provides for dating violence education.
R.I. Gen. Laws §16-85, 16-21-30, and 16-22-24 (2007 SB 875/HB 6166) Establishes the Lindsay Anne Burke Act which requires the Department of Education to develop a model dating violence policy to assist school districts in developing policies for dating violence reporting and response. The model policy shall be implemented on or before April 1, 2008. Each school district’s policy should include a policy for responding to incidents of dating violence and to provide dating violence education to students, parents, staff, faculty and administrators, in order to prevent dating violence and to address incidents involving dating violence. Click here to view Rhode Island Department of Education’s policy on teen dating violence.
Tenn. Code Ann. §49.1-220 (2006 SB 595) This act urges the Department of Education to develop a sexual violence/teen dating violence awareness curriculum for presentation at least once in grades 7 and 8 and at least once and preferably twice in grades 9 through 12. The curriculum is intended to increase awareness of teen dating violence and sexual violence, including rape prevention strategies, resources available, etc.
2011 House Bill 2496 (signed by Governor 6/17/2011) Creates a teen dating violence court program that includes a 12-week course to educate children who engage in dating violence and encourage them to refrain from engaging in that conduct. This law also provides for the deferral of adjudication and dismissal of certain dating violence cases.
Tex. Education Code Ann. §37.0821 (2007 HB121) Schools are required to develop and implement a dating violence policy. The school policy should provide training for teachers and administrators and awareness education for students and parents. It should also enforce protective orders or school based alternative including counseling for affected students. The policy is also required to addressing safety planning.
2011 Va. Acts, Chap. 634 Requires that any family life education curriculum offered by a local school division is to include the Standards of Learning objectives related to dating violence and the characteristics of abusive relationships to be taught at least once in middle school and at least twice in high school. (SB 906 of 2011)
Va. Code Ann. § 22.1-207.1 (2007 HB 1916) Develops curriculum guidelines for teaching teen dating violence and all family life education in schools. The guidelines promote parental involvement, foster positive self concepts and provide mechanisms for coping with peer pressure and the stresses of modern living according to the students’ developmental stages and abilities. The Board shall also establish requirements for appropriate training for teachers of family life education, which shall include training in instructional elements to support the various curriculum components.
Wash. Rev. Code §28A.300.185 (2005 HB 1252) Requires the state school superintendent to develop a model curriculum. The model curriculum shall include, but is not limited to, instruction on developing conflict management skills, communication skills, domestic violence and dating violence, financial responsibility, and parenting responsibility.