February is teen dating violence awareness month, and it reminds me of what are still the most harrowing four years of my life. One in four teens self-reports physical, verbal, emotional or sexual abuse every year.
Cindi Santana and her family did everything right to ensure her safety and the system failed them. Responding to dating abuse requires parents, schools, community leaders, law enforcement and elected officials to work together.
Sexual violence diminishes the value of the more than $40 billion taxpayers invest in federal student aid for higher education every school year. Many women who are the victim of a completed or attempted rape interrupt or even end their education as a result.
Last month, Break the Cycle released its third annual State Law Report Cards, a survey of the nation's teen dating violence civil protection laws. And for the third year in a row, Virginia received a failing grade.