Expect Respect Program

The Expect Respect program is a school-based prevention program for middle and high school students, designed to raise awareness of what a healthy relationship looks like. The program engages the entire school in changing social norms about dating relationships and creating a respectful environment. The Shelter currently provides this program in Immokalee for teen girls and boys. During 2014-2015, 71 sessions were conducted with 824 youth attending. The Immokalee program goal is to empower youth to have healthy relationships, reduce or eliminate domestic violence to make every home a safe home.

Core Program Components 

  • Opportunity  to talk about their relationships in an emotionally safe environment
  • Respect different opinions
  • Increase sense of belonging to a peer group
  • Increase self-acceptance and self-esteem
  • Increase knowledge about characteristics of healthy relationships
  • Increase conflict-resolution skills
  • Increase understanding of rights and responsibilities in relationships
  • Honor sisterhood and brotherhood

Curriculum Outline 

Week 1- Creating group guidelines. Become acquainted and share expectations with group. Understand confidentiality. Develop group guidelines.

Week 2– Weaving Connections-Listening and Supporting each other. Share personal characteristics with other participants. Weave connections and find similarities among other group participants. Gain respect for individual differences. Realize that each person has a right to an individual opinion. Identify and practice listening skills. Practice asking clarifying questions and speaking about self.

Week 3– Expressing Feelings to Communicate Assertively. Practice identifying and giving a voice to feelings. Understand range of feelings and how much they acknowledge, tolerate, and express their feelings. Practice the three the step process for assertive communication.

Week 4– Exploring Dating Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities
Identify personal exceptions and responsibilities for dating. Understand the importance of communicating exceptions to a dating partner. Explore attitudes about violence in relationships.

Week 5– Questioning Gender Stereotypes
Identify gender stereotypes. Understand how gender stereotypes lead to unrealistic exceptions for themselves and their dating partners. Recognize how gender stereotypes contribute to violence.

Week 6– Defining Abuse and Respect
Identify and compare the examples of abuse and respect. Identify the warning signs of dating violence. Increase ability to recognize the warning signs of dating violence and characteristics of a healthy partner. Review the Duluth model of Power & Control for teens.

Week 7– Resolving Conflicts
Identify the difference between abusive fighting and conflict resolution. Identify healthy ways for resolving conflict in a non- violent manner.

Week 8– Setting Boundaries and asking for consent
Understand why boundaries are important for a healthy relationship. Identify healthy and unhealthy boundaries in a dating relationship. Practice setting healthy boundaries. Identify personal exceptions for a sexual relationship. Explore attitudes about the use of force during sex. Identify words and actions that may be used to pressure someone for sex and understanding that no means no.

Week 9– Ending a Relationship
Identify feelings that accompany the breakup of a relationship. Recognize intense feelings as natural and manageable. Identify increased risk for violence during and after the breakup of an abusive relationship. Identify safety measures and review safety plan. Identify available legal resources. Example: Restraining order.

Week 10– Celebrating Our Accomplishments
Affirm changes and growth. Show Appreciation for others.