Safe Dates is a 6-session program for middle and high school students and is designed to prevent the initiation of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse between individuals in a dating relationship. Safe Dates is an evidence-based program that has been identified as a model program in the National Registry of Effective Programs (NREP), found to be effective in both preventing perpetration and in reducing perpetration among teens already using violence in their dates. Adolescents who have participated in the program are less accepting of dating abuse, have stronger communication and anger management skills, are less likely to gender stereotype, and have a greater awareness of community services for dating abuse.
Session 1: Defining Caring Relationships
Through a bingo game and class discussions, students are introduced to the Safe Dates program and they evaluate how they would like to be treated in dating relationships.
Session 2: Defining Dating Abuse
Through the discussion of scenarios and the review of statistics, students clearly define dating abuse.
Session 3: Why Do People Abuse?
Through large and small group discussions and the review of scenarios, students identify the causes and consequences of dating abuse.
Session 4: How to Help Friends
Through a decision-making exercise, a dramatic reading, and the introduction of the “Friend’s Wheel,” students learn why it is difficult to leave abusive relationships and how to help a friend if she or he is in an abusive relationship.
Session 5: Helping Friends
Through stories and role-playing, students practice effective skills for helping friends who are victims of abuse or confronting friends who are perpetrators of abuse.
Session 6: Overcoming Gender Stereotypes
Through a writing exercise, small-group discussions, and scenarios, students learn about gender stereotypes and how these stereotypes can affect dating relationships.
Session 7: Equal Power through Communication
Students learn the eight skills for effective communication and practice these skills in a variety of role-plays.
Session 8: How We Feel, How We Deal
Through the use of a feelings diary and a discussion of “hot buttons,” students learn effective ways to recognize and handle their anger, so it doesn’t lead to abusive behavior.
Session 9: Preventing Sexual Assault
Through taking a quiz and holding a caucus and a panel of their peers, students learn about the issue of sexual assault and how to prevent it from happening.
For more information on Safe Dates, please contact us at: 484-444-0412.
This program is coordinated by Holcomb Behavioral Health Systems
and funded by Delaware County Office of Behavioral Health, Division of Drug & Alcohol.