The Youth Relationships Project is a prevention program focused on addressing the emotional, behavioral, and cognitive factors that allow youth to strengthen the expression of positive interactions with dating partners and reduce the probability of power-assertive and violent behavior.
The project educates youth about gender-based violence, and helps them to develop skills and social actions such as personal responsibility, communication, and community participation.
Article continues below Although a small number, the 18 transgender youth surveyed had the highest rates of victimization: 89 percent reported physical dating violence, 61 percent were sexually coerced, 59 percent experienced emotional abuse, and 56 percent recorded digital abuse and harassment. C., is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research and educational organization that examines the social, economic, and governance challenges facing the nation.
During the preteen and teen years, young people are learning the skills they need to form positive, healthy relationships with others, and it is therefore an ideal time to promote healthy relationships and prevent patterns of teen dating violence that can last into adulthood.
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.
Six percent identified as LGBT, the rest as heterosexual.
Of the LGB respondents, “Given such high rates of victimization, helping these young people is especially important since teen dating violence can be a stepping stone toward adult intimate partner violence,” said Meredith Dank, a senior research associate in the Institute’s Justice Policy Center and one of the study’s lead authors.
The classroom intervention included six sessions in which there was an emphasis on the consequences of perpetrating teen dating violence (including state laws and penalties), the construction of gender roles, and healthy relationships.
The building‐based intervention included the use of temporary school‐based restraining orders, higher levels of faculty and security presence in areas identified through student mapping of safe/unsafe “hot spots,” and the use of posters to increase awareness and reporting of teen dating violence to school personnel.
Program length varies from less than a day to more than 20 sessions.
A few programs frame the issue using a feminist perspective, while others use a more skills-based and gender-neutral approach.
Teen dating violence prevention programs tend to focus on attitudes about violence, gender stereotyping, conflict management, and problem-solving skills.