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Proposed Law Will Educate Students On Dating Violence

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Mary Bubala joined WJZ in December 2003. She now anchors the 4-4:30...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—Educating young people about dating violence may become standard in Maryland schools if a bill is passed in Annapolis this session.

Mary Bubala reports the legislation is named after an Ellicott City girl killed by a boyfriend she was trying to break up with.

The parents of Kristin Mitchell have made an emotional video of their daughter.

Mitchell was just 21 when she was killed. She was the victim of dating violence.

Her parents are on a crusade to make sure no other young life is taken in this way.

This week they testified in Annapolis on behalf of a proposed law in their daughter’s name.

“People just don’t really get what dating violence is. They’re all over the place. They may think it’s bullying. They might think it’s any number of things. They don’t really get what it is,” said Bill Mitchell, Kristin’s father.

That’s why Bill and Michele Mitchell of Howard County are educating lawmakers about how prevalent dating violence is.

Statistics show one-third of teenage girls have experienced dating violence. Much of it is high-tech harassment through constant calls and text messages.

It escalates into violence.

“She had called a friend saying he was there and he wouldn’t leave and then the phone went dead,” said Michele Mitchell. 

Kristin Mitchell had been stabbed 55 times by her boyfriend who’s now in prison for her murder.

Her story mirrors that of Yeardley Love, the local lacrosse player murdered after trying to break up with her boyfriend George Huguely.

The proposed law in Maryland would make it mandatory that middle and high school students learn the warning signs of dating violence and how victims can get help before it’s too late.

The Kristin Mitchell law is still in committee. Her parents hope it passes this session and by the fall students are being educated in classrooms across the state about the dangers of dating violence.

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