DAILY REPUBLIC: Break the silence on teen dating violence

Thursday, May 18, 2017

One day in the 10th grade at Armijo while I was waiting for the bus after school, I noticed a guy and girl arguing nearby. Well, she wasn’t arguing. He was doing all the talking but I couldn’t make out what he was saying.

Several students watched with no one intervening. I didn’t know them. I just knew that the girl rode my bus. She was usually quiet and demure just like she was on this day with her boyfriend chastising her. I got on the bus and so did she, sitting a few seats in front of me. Outside, her boyfriend stood at the window telling her to come back outside to talk. When she refused, he leaped up and punched the bus window, shattering it. She got off the bus and he took her by the arm and led her away, while the rest of us just sat on the bus watching.

Assemblyman Jim Frazier has introduced Assembly Bill 643, a bill that would require public schools to instruct students on recognizing abusive relationships. The inspiration for the bill came from a Vacaville woman whose sister was killed in a domestic violence situation.

No one can argue the need isn’t there. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 1 in 4 teenage girls and 14 percent of teenage boys have been the victims of physical or sexual dating violence. If you apply these percentages to the three main high schools in Fairfield, we’re talking about 700 girls and 392 boys. This doesn’t include junior high students, which would swell those numbers.