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Parents of Murdered Dating Violence Victim, Legislators, and Teachers Unite to Launch 'MADE' - Moms and Dads for Education to Stop Teen Dating Abuse

NEW YORK, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, advocates for teen dating violence education from across the country are coming together at Liz Claiborne Inc. to launch 'MADE' -- Moms and Dads for Education to Stop Teen Dating Abuse. Ann and Chris Burke, educators and parents of Lindsay Ann Burke who was murdered by her abusive ex-boyfriend, are joining efforts with Liz Claiborne Inc. and Redbook magazine on this national coalition that will consist of parents, teachers and concerned citizens who are advocating for every high school and middle school in the country to teach a curriculum about preventing dating relationship violence and abuse.

NAAG President, Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch, National Foundation for Women Legislators President Robin Read, Redbook Editor-in-Chief Stacy Morrison and New York City students and teachers are joining the Burkes today at Liz Claiborne Inc. to support this new nationwide initiative. Together, they will urge parents across the country to take action by signing the online MADE petition and to work within their state to encourage legislation for teen dating violence education.

"It is time for all parents to make the commitment and address teen dating violence as a serious health issue," said Ann Burke. "I want to show all parents and teachers that having legislation passed is possible. With the help of Attorney General Lynch, Rhode Island middle and high school students are now receiving the education they deserve. I want to see teens in all 50 states educated on this issue."

At their annual meeting in June, the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) passed the Teen Dating Violence Resolution. This resolution endorsed the Lindsay Ann Burke Act, legislation proposed by Attorney General Lynch and passed in Rhode Island in 2007 that mandates dating violence education for middle and high school students in all of the state's school districts, as a model for all states. Most recently, the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) introduced and passed a similar resolution that specifically encourages women legislators in every state to introduce and adopt legislation that mandates each public school district implement a policy against teen dating violence and abuse, and incorporate information on the issue into health education curricula in middle and/or high schools.

"Liz Claiborne is a corporate leader in the fight against domestic violence and we are hopeful that with the launch of MADE, parents and educators nationwide will unite and address teen dating violence and abuse on another level," said Jane Randel, Vice President, Corporate Communications for Liz Claiborne Inc. "With the support and commitment of states legislators, we can push for education in school districts in every state, so that all teens will know what a healthy relationship really is."

MADE Petition

The prevalence of teen dating violence and abuse is a serious problem that must be confronted.

-- Nearly half of teen girls who have been in a relationship say they have been victims of verbal, physical, or sexual abuse by their boyfriends.(1)

-- One in five 13-14 year olds in relationships say they know friends and peers who have been struck in anger (kicked, hit, slapped, or punched) by a boyfriend or girlfriend.(2)

I am a concerned parent/teacher/citizen, and I want all teenagers to be taught about healthy relationships, to learn how to recognize the signs of abuse, and know where to get help if they are in an abusive relationship.

I am signing this online petition to ask my state legislators to introduce legislation that would ensure that every middle school and high school in the state is teaching a course about teen dating abuse every year and has a strong policy against it. I support the resolution passed by all 50 attorneys general recommending new legislation to bring teen dating violence and abuse education to all schools. Together, we can take a stand to protect our children and through education, break the cycle of domestic violence.

About Liz Claiborne Inc.

Since 1991 Liz Claiborne Inc. has been working to end domestic violence. Through its Love Is Not Abuse program, the company provides information and tools that men, women, teens and corporate executives can use to learn more about the issue and find out how they can help end this epidemic.

(1) Liz Claiborne Inc. Tweens and Teen Dating Violence Survey 2008 conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited (TRU)

(2) Liz Claiborne Inc. Tweens and Teen Dating Violence Survey 2008 conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited (TRU)

    Amy Terpeluk
    Tel: (212) 593-2792

SOURCE Liz Claiborne Inc.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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