Safe Dates is a school-based prevention program for middle and high school students designed to stop or prevent the initiation of dating violence victimization and perpetration, including the psychological, physical, and sexual abuse that may occur between youths involved in a dating relationship. The program goals are to change adolescent norms on dating violence and gender-roles, improve conflict resolution skills for dating relationships, promote victims’ and perpetrators’ beliefs in the need for help and awareness of community resources for dating violence, encourage help-seeking by victims and perpetrators, and develop peer help-giving skills.
Safe Dates is a school-based program that can stand alone or fit within a health education, family, or general life-skills curriculum. Because dating violence is often tied to substance abuse, Safe Dates may also be used with drug and alcohol prevention and general violence prevention programs.
The Safe Dates program relies on primary and secondary prevention activities to target behavioral changes in adolescents. Primary prevention occurs when the onset of perpetration of dating violence is prevented. Secondary prevention is when victims stop being victimized or perpetrators stop being violent. Primary prevention is promoted through school activities, while secondary prevention is promoted through school and community activities.
Accepted to the Portfolio: September 2016
Short Term Outcomes
- Students can define a caring relationship
- Students can define dating abuse
- Increased understanding of gender stereotypes
- Increased understanding of healthy, effective communication
Long Term Outcomes
- Decrease disruptive behavior disorders and symptoms
- Decrease victimization and maltreatment
- Transitional Age Youth (16 - 24)
- Northeast (District 4)