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my heart is full.

i am so incredibly grateful right now.
i've thought about what to type & i'm not necessarily sure.
but let me tell you all. since most of you utahn's have no idea.

let's say i am dating someone. i have a boyfriend.
and he is abusive toward me.
i am scared of him...and i have all the proof i need to get him to stay away from me.
well, the state of utah doesn't allow protective orders to those in dating violent situations.
now if you are married, or if you live with someone, or have a kid with them,
that is domestic violence. not considered dating violence.
that being said, if i needed my once 'boyfriend' to stay away from me, the state wouldn't allow it.
breakthecycle.org {a helpful violence site} rated utah an F for protecting teens.
why?
well, because they can't access protective orders.

my whole high school career, this made me livid. why? 
are adults more important or something?
it didn't make sense.
i would raise awareness around my community like mad.
went and talked to the city council, church groups, school, and more.
nobody even knew about this crazy law!
i remember writing a blog post on my story. . . as well as
an adorable girl named ashlee's story.
she was pushed out of a car by her boyfriend on the freeway and LEFT THERE. 





what an idiot.
she has a facebook page called 'team ashlee.' 
i messaged her pretty recently asking her if she was aware of the law...
she had someone {i believe from the legislature} contact me to answer my questions.

these were his reasons for not allowing protective orders:
•teens could make it up.
•going to school with someone on the restraining order would be a difficult situation.

that second one makes sense.
but teens..making it up? are you serious?
first of all, who would even do that? and if they did, they would need proof.
so..please, enlighten me..to a good reason teens can't access a needed protective order.
pretty pathetic.

well, word got out.
and team ashlee has become pretty big in the state of utah
so she took the necessary steps to go talk to the legislature.
and yesterday, february 7th,
the law was passed for victims of dating violence to access protective orders!

i instantly picked up the phone to call my mom & my husband.
i am grateful.
teens & other victims of dating violence
no longer have to feel scared that their attacker is out to get them
near as bad as they currently do.
all that hard work has truly paid off.
& my heart couldn't be more full today. i am so thankful.

i wish the world would realize how much violence & abuse there truly is in the world.
according to love is respect & many other sites,
one in three adolescents in the US is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal
abuse from a dating partner.

not only that, 1 in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit,
slapped, or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.

PLEASE be aware that this is real. be aware of the warning signs.
if you live in the follow states, your state is rated an F for a similar reason.
alabama
georgia
kentucky
missouri
ohio
south carolina
south dakota
virginia
if you want to know what rating your state has {and why}
click here, raise awareness, & save lives.


here is a dancing video i have always adored & treasured.
it says a lot & it's pretty beautiful, too!



12 comments

  1. Wow. Where was this law when I needed it????

    Love you!

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  2. Great, my state is rated an 'f'. freaking-a.
    Abuse is VERY real. I went through it myself for a short time and when i did finally fight back (not always the best option) he finally stopped, praise God. But no one knew about it...except a few friends.
    What a beautiful testimony from the lovely Ashlee. She has taken a stand and is helping to get other teens protection!

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  3. Wow! That is amazing Amanda!!! Truly amazing!!! what an inspiration you are. That makes me so grateful to know that the teens are protected. I had no idea that there wasn't anything protecting them. If anything teens should be protected more than adults. I'm so proud of you and others that helped this law pass!!!!! I hope you have a super fantastic day, and celebrate in some way! You deserve it!

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  4. I'm so glad that they passed a law here in utah!! That is nuts, they thought a teenager would make it up? Teens are just as capable of hurting each other as adults are, therefore they should have the right to being protected equally.

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  5. Oh my...that poor poor girl!! I can't believe there wasn't a law in place already to protect her! So sad...I hope her ex-bf get a long long time in jail!

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  6. I am so impressed you are taking a stand! this is great! my heart goes out to you. I am so sorry :(

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  7. amanda you are truly inspiring. im sorry you had to go through that in high school. but i think that is amazing that you are taking a stand about violence! even though i never went through anything like this i wish i had your courage

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  8. That's ridiculous. Especially since so much abuse DOES happen with teenagers. I'm happy they fixed it. And happy MN doesn't have an F!

    xo
    -- dysfunctionaleverafter.com

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  9. oh my goodness, this is so powerful.. thank you for sharing!

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  10. so exciting and inspiring! go team ashlee!

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  11. Wow that is pretty scary stuff. I am currently seeing warning sign in my friends relationship with her husband and I don't know what to do. She won't listen to me because she believes that love will keep him clam. Do you know anything that I could do? I am happy that you posted this. My mother was beaten by her ex and she lived in VA. She has always warned me and I got out of any relationships I didn't feel safe in. I can only hope that more women are strong enough to get out, even if they have kids. It's hard but it has to be done.

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  12. Wow, this makes me so happy that it passed! Yes! Way to speak out about such a difficult thing.
    xoxo,
    Sierra
    Oh, Just Living the Dream

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