HB 4077 addresses growing concern about domestic violence in teens
SALEM – Legislation that will empower schools districts to teach high school students about teen dating violence was approved in the Senate this morning. House Bill 4077 outlines a number of requirements for schools to develop programs and training to help students, teachers, and faculty better identify teen dating violence and understand how to prevent such violence.
“Domestic violence is a leading cause of death for women in Oregon,” said Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson (D-Gresham), who carried HB 4077 on the floor and is the chief sponsor of the bill in the Senate. “This is a preventive measure that helps our sons and daughters identify and stop abusive tendencies before they become habits and lifestyles.”
Under HB 4077, schools will be asked to develop and incorporate age-appropriate curriculum educating students about teen dating violence and make available resources about the warning signs of unhealthy relationships. Schools will be required to include a policy against teen dating violence in their anti-bullying policies and a staff member will be designated as the responsible party for addressing reports of teen dating violence incidents. The Oregon Department of Human Services and the Department of Justice will be permitted to use resources from their existing domestic violence programs to fund educational and outreach efforts to support victims and prevent future incidences of teen dating violence.
“Teens who are victims of physical dating violence are more likely to do poorly in school, or to skip school entirely because they feel unsafe. Perpetrators who are identified while still in their teens are much more likely to change than those who are identified as adults,” said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland). “We have an obligation to create environments that support the health and well-being of Oregon’s young people.”
HB 4077 was introduced in the House by Representatives by Jules Bailey (D-Portland) and Matt Wand (R-Troutdale). The bill now goes to the Governor for his approval.