Okay, this week I am all wound up! Our application/ plan of action was chosen by the VA Department of Health and we have been awarded funds to start a new teen dating violence prevention project in our community. We will be offering the “Choose Respect” curriculum to as many faith based youth groups in our community as possible.
It will start with a kick off event in January. We will gather as many youth group leaders as possible to learn about the Choose Respect program. We will be offering the training, learning materials, activities, and technical assistance to any and all faith based organizations. Two lucky organizations will have our own RCASA outreach and education team come and facilitate activities and programming with the teens, parents, and leaders of their particular organization. We will of course be able to fuse the values of the faith community with the values of respect and healthy relationships of the curriculum.
Choose Respect Overview- From the Choose Repect Press Kit
Choose Respect is an initiative to help youth form healthy relationships to prevent dating abuse before it starts. This national effort is designed to motivate youth to challenge harmful beliefs about dating abuse and take steps to form respectful relationships.
Unhealthy relationship behaviors can start early and last a lifetime. According to recent research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 11 youth reports being a victim of physical dating abuse. Even more startling, youth who report experiencing dating abuse are also more likely to report binge drinking, suicide attempts, physical fighting, and current sexual activity.
Choose Respect is designed to encourage positive action on the part of youth to form healthy, respectful relationships. Research for the initiative shows most youth have positive, healthy attitudes about their relationships with others. Choose Respect seeks to reinforce and sustain these positive attitudes among youth as they get older and begin to enter dating relationships by:
Providing effective messages for youth, parents, caregivers, and teachers that encourage them to establish healthy and respectful relationships.
Creating opportunities for youth and communities to support healthy and respectful relationships.
Choose Respect reaches out to youth ages 11–14 because they’re still forming attitudes and beliefs that will affect how they are treated and how they treat others. The initiative also connects with parents, teachers, youth leaders, and other supportive adults who influence the lives of youth.