With this addition, it became mandatory for every school district in the state to adopt and implement a dating violence policy.

Schools must be able to define the different types of dating violence and also be equipped to address the issue.

"As I understand it, it's not 'Why aren't you doing it? We just haven't identified them well enough yet to help these schools implement HB 121." The silver lining is that the schools enforcing the policy – specifically in Round Rock ISD, Dallas ISD, and Austin ISD – are doing so exceptionally well.

"He showed all the signs that he could have killed her and possibly others, too." In the last six years, 32 teenage girls in Texas alone were killed by their intimate partners. The bill would amend Section 37.0831 to require the establishment of a "work group" comprised of domestic violence advocates, teachers, coaches, school nurses, and counselors to "examine the implementation of dating violence awareness and education in public schools." The law would also target middle school programs, because, according to Terry, Bellino, and Blackman, waiting until high school is waiting too long.

In 2014, TAP closed 118 cases for clients 19 years of age and under, with the majority of those clients between 14 and 16. "By preventing violence at an earlier age we are shaping young adults into productive assets to society who have healthy relationships," says TAP Legal Director Bronwyn Blake.

Unfortunately, adolescents who live through violent, unhealthy relationships are at a higher risk for destructive behavior as they get older, including substance abuse, eating disorders, and further domestic violence.

Reaching kids earlier means potentially stopping violence before it has a chance to start.

from East Texas have been working hard the past few month to make a difference in their community.

What started as a group project to help raise awareness of teen violence, however, has since grown into a courageous push for policy change.“We started doing more and more research on it and looking around our schools too, and we found that there were multiple cases where the boyfriend was abusing the girlfriend,” Ashlyn Ellgass, an eighth-grader at Lindale ISD, told Jezebel.“And it’s not always physically—it’s usually mentally.In fact, girls between the ages of 16 and 24 are at the highest risk of any demographic group – three times higher than the national average – for intimate partner violence.Yet many adults are not addressing this topic with the young people in their lives."If they're not caught early, the violence can escalate to physical or sexual abuse.