Dating and sexual violence

The Safe Dates Project is an intervention that includes school activities (e.g., a theater production performed by peers, a curriculum of ten 45-minute sessions taught by health and physical education teachers, and a poster contest) and community activities (e.g., services for adolescents in abusive relationships and service provider training).

A four-year follow-up study found reductions in the likelihood of being a victim or a perpetrator of moderate psychological and physical violence as well as sexual violence among the eighth- and ninth-grade students from North Carolina who had participated in the Safe Dates Project; however, there were no reductions in the likelihood of being a victim of Further, findings showed that those students involved in the Safe Dates Project reported less acceptance of dating violence and traditional gender roles, a stronger belief in the need for help, and more awareness of services available in the community.

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Specifically, youth in the intervention showed significantly greater declines in the use of coercive tactics within the dating relationship and enhanced motivation, interest, and understanding of the content of the program.

Similarly, for boys, high levels of parental bonding have been found to be associated with less externalizing behavior, which in turn is associated with less teen dating violence victimization.

Most of the handful of programs that have been empirically investigated are school-based and use a group format.

Ending Violence is a curriculum designed for high school students that focuses on educating youth about the legal repercussions and protections for perpetrators and victims of dating violence.

An evaluation of Break the Cycle’s Ending Violence curriculum with a sample of predominately Latino teens from a large urban school district found that the youth demonstrated improved knowledge of the laws related to dating violence, less acceptance of female-on-male aggression, and increased perception of the likelihood and helpfulness of seeking assistance from various sources after they had completed the program.

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