For those who don’t already know, February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month! Family Tree is working toward ending the cycle of violence in teen dating by talking directly with youth in our community. Advocates from Family Tree’s Domestic Violence Outreach Program work closely with Jefferson County schools and students to help promote a safe school culture. These advocates recognize that relationship violence is a cycle and by utilizing early intervention and prevention education with youth we hope to break that cycle!
There are three programs Family Tree advocates offer Jefferson County schools. The first is a Healthy Relationships 101 workshop. This is typically a one-time presentation that broadly cover topics such as recognizing unhealthy and abusive behaviors in relationships, setting and respecting boundaries, and understanding consent. Additionally, Family Tree advocates can offer two curriculums through the Expect Respect program. These include a Youth Leadership Development class for interested students and a Support Group for students that may be more at risk for experiencing violence. Both groups of students are identified by faculty at the school. The Expect Respect curriculums cover similar topics as the Healthy Relationships 101 workshop, but are discussed at a deeper level. Additionally, the curriculums can include topics such as conflict management, identity and privilege, gender norms and more.
Last month, Family Tree’s Domestic Violence Outreach Program advocates participated in an all-day training with the Senior Director of the Expect Respect Program, Barri Rosenbluth, to explore different ways to engage students in difficult topics. So far in February, our advocates have met with 245 students in two different schools to facilitate the Healthy Relationships 101 workshops and the Expect Respect Youth Leadership Development class. Surveys from students that participated in a Family Tree facilitated Expect Respect program during this past fall semester reported that 92% learned skills to develop and maintain healthy relationships. Additionally, surveys from students that participated in a Healthy Relationships 101 workshop this past month reported that 98% learned skills to better identify healthy, unhealthy and abusive behaviors. Here are some quotes from these students about what they learned during these workshops:
“Love goes at your pace, not other’s.”
“Consent is more than just a word.”
“Abuse is not part of a healthy relationship.”
Learn more about the Expect Respect curriculum and if you are in the Jefferson County area and are interested in having Family Tree’s Domestic Violence Outreach Program facilitate Expect Respect at your school, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (303) 463-6321.