Senator Hassell-Thompson Says "It's Time To Talk"

Ruth Hassell-Thompson

December 3, 2009

On December 3, 2009 Americans nationwide will be participating in It's Time To Talk Day, a day dedicated to speaking about issues that are literally life and death ----domestic abuse and teen dating abuse.  Here’s an alarming statistic:  1 in 2 teens report that they have been personally victimized by controlling behaviors from a boyfriend or girlfriend.  Many are afraid to speak out due to fear and stigma.  This is why Liz Claiborne Inc. has chosen to sponsor It's Time To Talk Day, in order to provide a national platform to discuss these issues in the open. 

As Chairwoman of the New York State Senate Task Force on Domestic Violence, Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson works closely with the National Foundation for Women Legislators and MADE (Moms and Dads for Education) to ensure that all young people are educated about the devastating consequences of teen dating violence and abuse.

MADE is a nationwide coalition of parents, teachers and concerned citizens who advocate for every middle school and high school in the country to teach curricula on teen dating violence and abuse.  This year they are participating in It's Time To Talk Day by urging all schools to teach the nationally-recognized Love is Not Abuse curriculum.  Due to the increasing digital age we live in, nearly 1 in 3 teens in a relationship say their partners have used texting to control and harass them at all hours of the night.  The Love is Not Abuse curriculum is being officially re-launched on December 3rd with a new section on digital abuse.

Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson urges all parents, teachers and concerned community members to take a few moments and speak to the teens in their lives about relationship violence.  Dating violence among youth has reached epidemic proportions, tragically resulting in thousands of potentially preventable deaths.

“We must teach our youth that violence is NEVER acceptable in any type of relationship.  Neither is exerting undue control or pressure, whether it be verbal, physical or in a mixed media setting,” said Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson.  “I commend MADE and Liz Claiborne for their work in creating awareness and safe situations where our youth can come together and learn.”