At least one out of every four teens is involved in a dating violence relationship by the time he/she leaves high school. The objective of the Teen Healthy Relationships program is to facilitate dating violence primary prevention presentations for middle and high school students, ultimately changing the attitudes, beliefs and behaviors of adolescent boys and girls and reducing the occurrence of violence against women.
Since 2009, The Shelter’s Teen Healthy Relationship program has provided students the opportunity to learn facts about the different types of abuse, the dynamics of dating violence, characteristics of unhealthy and healthy relationships, and how to set boundaries in a relationship. They also learn about ways to help friends involved in abusive relationship and how to create a safety plan.
Youth participating in the Teen Healthy Relationships program are able to:
- Identify different types of abuse
- Understand the dynamics of domestic violence
- Understand that domestic violence is not their fault
- Learn the signs of an unhealthy relationship
- Learn to set their own boundaries and expectations in a relationship
- Learn how to increase their self esteem and communicate in a healthy way
- Learn healthy problem solving and coping skills
The impact of these programs should not be underestimated. When youth are empowered, their broadened awareness of domestic violence will ultimately create positive change and a safer community. In 2013-2014 The Shelter provided 152 Healthy Relationships presentations to over 7783 teens. Presentation venues include: various high school and middle schools in Collier County, Teenage Parenting Program, Civil Citation Program, and the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Overall, The Shelter’s primary prevention efforts seek to reduce the likelihood that anyone will become a victim or a perpetrator by creating conditions that make violence less likely to ever occur. The Shelter created an 11-week curriculum with modules, activities, videos and group discussions as well as one, two, and three day presentations to accommodate the needs of local schools.