Valley nonprofit reacts to Abbott rejecting dating violence prevention bill

2 months 3 weeks 6 days ago Thursday, June 24 2021 Jun 24, 2021 June 24, 2021 3:49 PM June 24, 2021 in News - Local

Local activists say one of the 20 bills vetoed by Gov. Greg Abbott during the most recent legislative session could have significantly impacted the Rio Grande Valley.

Senate Bill 1109 would have required middle and high school students at public school to learn about the prevention of domestic violence and abuse, including providing class instruction on how to identify the signs of abuse and how to report them to local law enforcement.

Advocates with Mujeres Unidas, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to helping victims of family violence, say SB 1109 could have helped minimize the prevalence of abuse in the Valley.

"Most of the abuse that happens isn't by a stranger like most of us would assume," Community Education Program Educator at Mujeres Unidas Victoria De Los Santos said. "It happens by a family member, a friend, a co-worker, or someone the individual is close to. So that should be something we consider every time we make a decision that will impact everyone's lives."

De Los Santos said since the rollback of COVID-19 restrictions, the nonprofit has documented a steady stream of nearly 50 emergency calls every week.

In a press release, Abbott said he vetoed the bill because there was not an option for parents to opt their children out of the instruction.

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