State law encourages districts to adopt dating violence policies.
Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-1017. Sexual violence awareness curriculum.
(a) Subject to the guidance and approval of the state board of education, local boards of education are urged to develop a sexual violence awareness curriculum for presentation at least once in grades seven (7) and eight (8) and at least once, preferably twice, in grades nine through twelve (9-12), as part of the wellness, family life, safety, or other existing curricula. The curriculum should include instruction to increase students' awareness and understanding of teen dating violence and sexual violence, including, but not limited to, date rape, acquaintance rape, stranger rape, statutory rape, rape prevention strategies, resources and support available to victims of teen dating violence and sexual violence, and prosecution of crimes associated with teen dating and sexual violence.
(b) The curriculum should address, in age-appropriate language, topics including, but not limited to:
- (1) What teen dating violence is;
- (2) What sexual violence is, and specifically, what date rape, acquaintance rape, stranger rape, and statutory rape are and the dangers of sexual violence;
- (3) What are the methods and means of avoiding and preventing victimization from teen dating violence or sexual violence;
- (4) How alcohol and other drugs are used to facilitate date rape or acquaintance rape, and the dangers of these substances;
- (5) Why there is a need for prompt medical attention and medical evaluation of victims of sexual violence;
- (6) What is the nature and prevention of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases;
- (7) How to preserve forensic evidence of sexual violence and specifically what victims should and should not do after being sexually assaulted;
- (8) Who are the authorities to whom teen dating violence and sexual violence should be reported in a timely manner, including, but not limited to, identification of and telephone numbers for local law enforcement personnel to whom sexual crimes should be reported;
- (9) What persons, including school personnel, and organizations provide support and resources for victims of teen dating violence and sexual violence; and
- (10) What are the penalties and long-term consequences resulting from conviction of sexual crimes, including, but not limited to, rape and statutory rape.