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New York Lawmakers Announce Launch of Teen Dating Violence Prevention Program

New York Lawmakers Announce Launch of Teen Dating Violence Prevention Program
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Initiative will honor sexual assault victim Jessica Tush.

The Jessica Tush Teen Dating Violence Prevention Program aims to teach students how to have a healthy relationship.

It'll also educate teens on how to intervene if a peer is in a harmful relationship.

The initiative is named after Jessica Tush, the Staten Island teen was kidnapped and killed by an ex-boyfriend in 2008.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12) said the program can keep teens out of abusive relationships.

"Sadly, some young people interpret their partner’s violence as love,” Maloney said. “But love has nothing to do with violence, love and pain are not one in the same."

The pilot program is being launched this month at the Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design, but Brooklyn Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, who helped start the initiative, wants to expand it.

"When this program is shown to be the great success I know it will be, we will begin to start it in middle school and maybe even elementary school," Lentol said. 

Congresswoman Maloney also said she wants to show this program to her peers in Congress in hopes that it will lead to teen dating violence prevention programs in other states. 

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