Why Bree's Law?
Naming Brees's Law Nationally
<Watch Senator Lisa Murkowski's Senate Bill S3185
Disaster is never expected.
On June 26, 2014, the life of Bree Moore, a 20-year old young woman with a bright future, was cut short with an act of violence. She was shot to death by her boyfriend in a fit of dating violence.
The murder of Bree Moore was more than tragedy. It was yet another sad moment in an ongoing American tragedy. Dating violence is one of the unreported issues in America. This web site is dedicated to Bree Moore. But this site is more than an impersonal, electronic billboard. It is a call to action.
Why was Bree Moore’s life important?
The story of Bree's life, the inspiring person she was and the unspeakable tragedy that befell her, has focused a searchlight on the epidemic of teen dating violence in Alaska. Bree’s parents, Butch and Cindy, wanted to make sure Bree’s death was not simply a statistic. What happened to Bree should not have happened and her death should be a lesson for all Alaskans. Their efforts prompted the Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Education (known as Bree’s Law) into The Alaska Safe Children’s Act, which was signed into law by Governor Walker in July 2015.
Because of Bree’s Law, dating violence education is being taught in grades 7-12 in all Alaska public schools. It instructs teens how to develop healthy relationships, practice supportive communication skills, recognize the warning signs of an abusive relationship, and where to go for help.
Bree’s story is powerful one most young people can understand on a personal level. Like Bree, many young men and women experiencing abuse are usually silent about their experience. They blame themselves or normalize abusive behaviors as typical in a dating relationship. These controlling behaviors too often are viewed as signs of love - that their dating partner is taking an interest in their lives and showing how much they care. In reality, these behaviors are warning signs that a relationship may ultimately become abusive and possibly deadly.
Why was Bree Moore’s death important?
No one deserves to die before their time. Bree Moore was no exception. She should have had a full, productive live.
That did not happen.
But her death has brought a chilling reality to the public discussion. Particularly in Alaska.
When it comes to violent crime, Alaska is Number One in the United States. Anchorage and Fairbanks are Numbers 2 and 3 on the nation’s list of cities where women face the most violence. Alaska leads the nation in rapes and women in Alaska are twice as likely to be killed by men than in any other part of America. Half of all women in Alaska (50%) have experienced physical violence, threats of it, or sexual violence from a partner at some point in their lives.
According to national research, 1 out of 3 teens report knowing friends or peers who have experienced dating abuse, yet they don’t intervene. Alarmingly, of teen survivors, only 3% of teens in abusive relationships reported the abuse to authority figures and only 6% told family members.
Why is Bree Moore’s death important?
Because we need to educate young people about dating violence. We need to engage our young in conversations about healthy relationship. We need them to know how to react to unhealthy ones. We need to stop teen dating violence before it starts.
When a healthy cycle is learned, that knowledge can be shared with friends, family and community. Through Bree’s Law education, our young people are gaining the knowledge of what the signs of abuse are. They will learn it is ok to talk about dating and domestic violence. They now know where to go for help. Bree’s Law is empowering teens to help themselves and watch for the danger signs among their friends. Prevention holds the promise of keeping future generations of young women and men safe from abuse, because what happened to Bree Moore, shouldn’t ever happen to anyone else.
What should I do?
YOU are the key factor in ending teen dating violence. It’s a matter of education. And this is precisely what Bree’s Law teaches. Bree’s Law gives you the tools you need to see disaster before it arrives.
The most important thing you SHOULD NOT DO is believe that what happened to Bree Moore COULD NOT HAPPEN to your daughters, granddaughters, nieces or even the young woman next door. The story of Bree Moore is not something that happened ‘somewhere else.’ What happened to Bree Moore is happening in your neighborhood, maybe in your own home. If you do not see the signs of teen dating violence you and your family could get a rude awakening. The key to a healthy future for your daughters, granddaughters, nieces or even the young woman next door is to learn from the death of Bree Moore and recognize the seeds of violence.