In the Headlines
Dating abuse programs target younger students. While most dating abuse education programs are provided for high school and college students, a recent study found that need for these programs emerge as early as middle school: 15% of surveyed seventh-graders reported experiencing physical abuse in their relationships. Organizations like Start Strong Idaho and Men Can Stop Rape have programs aimed at educating youth early to prevent abuse in their relationships.
New York Governor signs cyberbullying protection legislation into law. A new law in New York State will help protect students from cyberbullying as well as other forms of harassment, bullying, and discrimination. Schools are now required to take immediate action when students experience cyberbullying or other forms of harassment. The legislation also establishes improved training to help teachers and administrators better prevent and respond to bullying and other harmful acts.
Study finds US high schools ill-equipped to prevent or address dating violence among their students. Researchers from Indiana surveyed 550 high school counselors about their training and ability to deal with teen dating violence. Over 81 percent of the respondents said their school had no protocol for responding to dating violence. Ninety percent said there had been no related staff training in the previous two years, and more than 75 percent said their school had no committee that dealt with health and safety issues including dating abuse or healthy relationships. Yet the majority of counselors (61 percent) said they had had occasion to advise a victim of dating violence in the previous two years.
A Massachusetts city counselor says preventing domestic violence must be a community focus and priority. "What is clear to me is that the work to end intimate partner violence, build healthy relationships and foster peace cannot be achieved without a true community-wide effort. Our humanity and decency, and not headlines or tragedy, should be the only impetus we need to end violence."
Arizona organization to hold local celebrity-studded fundraiser. Kaity's Way, a dating violence education organization, was started by Bobbi and Ric Sudberry in memory of their daughter who was murdered by an abusive boyfriend. Their upcoming fundraiser, patterned after the hit show 'Dancing with the Stars,' will feature local television and sports celebrities who will compete to raise funds to support the organization's education workshops.
By Ian Harris, Staff Attorney
There is a lot of confusion and misinformation about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or "Obamacare"). One piece of information that has been routinely absent from the news about Obamacare is the effect of the law on health options available for survivors of domestic violence. Below are some of the sections that have the potential to affect the lives of domestic violence survivors:
1) As of August 1, 2012, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will require that all insurance plans cover screening and counseling for domestic abuse. This provision is found under preventive services for women's health. The section of preventive services also expands the list of preventive services that must be covered without "cost sharing*". Requiring preventive services without cost sharing takes away the ability of insurers to continue discriminatory practices against women that often made women pay substantially more for preventive services such as "Well-woman visits, Gestational diabetes screening, HPV DNA testing, Sexually transmitted infection counseling, HIV screening and counseling, FDA-approved contraception methods and contraceptive counseling, Breastfeeding support, supplies and counseling, and Domestic violence screening and counseling." This means that consumers pay less for these services because insurance companies must pay for these services at a higher rate.
2) In addition to the money saving options mentioned above, the new law also put a ban on pre-existing condition exclusions**. Previously, eight states and the District of Columbia allowed insurance companies to reject a woman's application for insurance because she had prior experience as a victim of domestic violence. The ban on pre-existing conditions exclusions makes it so that insurance companies can no longer continue this unfair and discriminatory practice.
The new healthcare law, recently upheld by the Supreme Court, has given the anti-violence community additional tools to help survivors of abuse. It's a small step, but every step counts.
Cost Sharing - when the patient/insured is required to pay some portion of covered expenses. Source: Reference.MD
Pre-exisiting conditions exclusions - a type of rule in insurance policies where the insurer can deny covering someone's health insurance claim because they had a condition or illness that make them more likely to be sick and thus be more likely to use their health insurance.
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By Ian Harris, Staff Attorney
Bullying is becoming an issue of national prominence, from nationally publicized legal cases to entire hit television series like Glee who essentially dedicated their show to the topic. Talk show hosts, celebrities, athletes and politicians are all speaking out against the threats, intimidation, and abuse that create a hostile environment in our nation's schools.
Bullying has always been a major problem in schools. What has changed in recent years are the increased opportunities available for students to bully. Not too long ago, bullying only happened during school hours; today, those who wish to bully have near 24 hour access to other students through text messages, social networking, and instant messaging. Unlike bullying on the playground where teachers have the opportunity to intervene, cyberbullying can be anonymous, hidden behind the protection of technology and outside the view of most adults.
In response to the increased publicity about bullying, the office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in collaboration with members of the Senate and Assembly, drafted legislation that aims to stop the major problems of bullying and cyberbullying.
As this year's legislative session was coming to a close (the last date of the session was June 21, 2012), both the Senate and the Assembly passed the cyberbullying law, which would:
1) Establish protocols to respond to cyberbullying, harassment, bullying and discrimination, including designating a school official to receive and investigate reports, prompt reporting and investigation;
2) Take actions to prevent recurrences;
3) Coordinate with law enforcement when appropriate;
4) Develop a bullying prevention strategy;
5) Provide notice to all school community members of the school's policies; and
6) Set training requirements for current and new school employees
The bill has not yet been signed into law. If and when the Governor signs the legislation, the law will modify the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), providing greater protection to New York students.
If you think that you or someone you know is being bullied as a result of an abusive relationship, contact Day One at 1.800.214.4150.