In Touch With Teens: A Relationship Violence Prevention Curriculum for Youth Ages 12-19

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In order to help youth develop and maintain healthy, violence-free relationships, Peace Over Violence has been implementing the In Touch With Teens Violence Prevention curriculum in junior high and high schools and other community based youth organizations. The eleven-unit curriculum empowers youth to have healthy relationships by providing information about power and control, elements of healthy relationships and healthy sexuality, and media literacy as well as education on sexual harassment, sexual assault, and dating violence. The curriculum further addresses the development of pro-social skills such as empathy, impulse control, effective communication, problem solving, and bystander accountability.

Goals: 1) to prevent youth in general from resorting to acts of violence, coercion and/or abuse in order to dominate and control others; 2) to re-educate those youths who have already begun to exhibit the effects of abuse and violence within their own interpersonal relationships; and 3) to build skills around knowledge, ability, and self-agency (the ability to govern ones own actions and reactions).

In Touch with Teens programs include:

  • Parenting for Healthy Relationships, an educational program designed to educate parents about the creation of violence-free relationships and families. This program also focuses on different issues and challenges parents may find difficult to address. The program provides parents with tools to improve their communications skills with their children.
  • MentorStep. Peace Over Violence’s MentorStep project seeks to enrich the lives of youth through a mentor-mentee relationship that offers support, nurturing and guidance. This project aims to build the internal and external assets that help protect youth from negative outcomes.
  • Theater Peace, a Peer to Peer Education program where High School youth go into middle schools and teach their fellow youth about teen dating violence and violence prevention education using skits and role plays.
  • Digital Story telling, which uses new media to support recovery and prevent violence. This project allows youth to give voice to their experiences by creating a digital narrative. These three minute digital “movies” can then be used in prevention education.
  • p2p. A Peer-to-Peer counseling program that trains youth to provide emotional support, education and resources to other youth. This project increases the capacity of young people to prevent and respond positively to interpersonal violence and related issues.

In Touch With Teens Curriculum is a nationally recognized relationship violence prevention curriculum developed with urban youth in Los Angeles to change social norms around issues of violence in their relationships, homes and communities. It has been successfully implemented with diverse groups of high school and middle school aged youth from throughout the United States. It has proven effective in increasing knowledge about teen dating violence, sexual violence, and sexual harassment, as well as empowering youth to identify and eliminate unhealthy behavior.

The In Touch With Teens curriculum was selected as one of five model youth-violence prevention programs in the United States (and the only such program from California) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It was also selected as the relationship-violence curriculum for the ‘Life Skills for the 21st Century’ curriculum of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

 

Implementing the curriculum along with the supplemental programs – such as the Parenting program, Theater Peace, or p2p – will enhance the overall impact of the program and increase the chances for success. Technical Assistance and support for implementing the curriculum and the supporting programming is available from Peace Over Violence. Curriculum may be purchased from the shop.peaceoverviolence.org and comes with one year of technical assistance, an interactive cd, and limited supplemental updates.

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