Regarding House Bill 2184 – “an act relating to requiring comprehensive sexual health education” – it isn’t just about sex. It’s about violence prevention.

We do need to educate our children from a young age about a biological imperative that may drive some of the most significant decisions of their lives.

Just as important, however, is the objective to help our children recognize “violence, coercion, and intimidation” and give them the tools to build healthy relationships. It’s an urgent and critical reason to pass this legislation.

Nobody wants to talk about domestic violence. As a survivor, I know how carefully people avoid interfering into a “private” matter. But its impact is felt in our failure to successfully address all kinds of violence in our schools and communities from bullying to sexual harassment to gun violence.

The childhood trauma of domestic violence in families creates the next generation of perpetrators and victims. We are not helping these kids – indeed, we are not even consistently recognizing the signs of family violence – so the cycle continues. Passing HB 2184 gives us an opportunity to explore how preventing the “private” violence in our relationships can prevent violence from becoming more widespread in our society.

Sue Whitcomb, Bothell