Teens and young adults across the U.S. are experiencing high levels of abuse in their dating relationships. Research has found that one in three teens report threats of physical abuse or sexual abuse and 43% of teen dating abuse victims reported that the dating abuse they experienced occurred in a school building or on school grounds. Speak Up! Teen Program is a New Orleans Family Justice Center Teen Initiative dedicated to raising awareness and preventing teen dating abuse in the metropolitan New Orleans area with a holistic approach.
We strive to combat the issue of adolescent dating abuse in New Orleans by providing a resource center for high school students, visiting local high schools to teach a teen dating abuse curriculum or speaking at an assembly, working with schools as well as the Department of Education to develop and implement policies on dating abuse, and working to generate data about the prevalence of dating abuse in schools.
Careagous Kids Program is a primary prevention curriculum that focuses on teaching positive social skills to 4th & 5th graders that will help reduce their likelihood of committing violent acts.
T.R.U.S.T.: Teaching Respect, Understanding, Safety and Tolerance Program is a primary prevention curriculum for students in grades 6th – 8th in which they learn tools on how to stay safe and protect themselves from victimization.
Safe Dates: An Adolescent Dating Abuse Prevention Program is a dating abuse prevention curriculum that addresses the attitudes and behaviors that are associated with dating abuse and abuse. This is a research based curriculum that has been shown to have powerful long term outcomes. It expresses success in both the areas of prevention and intervention with the prevalent issue of teen dating abuse; and research has shown that teens that participate in the Safe Dates program have shown 56-92% less dating abuse victimization and perpetration than teens that have not been involved in the curriculum.
The curriculum is can be taught as a one-session, ten-session, or six-session model both which include fifty minute sessions:
|Ten Session Model||Six Session Model|
|Session 1: Defining Caring Relationships||Session 1: Defining Caring Relationships/ Dating Abuse|
|Session 2: Defining Dating Abuse||Session 2: Why Do People Abuse?|
|Session 3: Why Do People Abuse?||Session 3: How to Help Friends/ Helping Friends|
|Session 4: How to Help Friends||Session 4: Overcoming Gender Stereotypes|
|Session 5: Helping Friends||Session 5: How We Feel, How We Deal/ Equal Power Through Communication|
|Session 6: Overcoming Gender Stereotypes||Session 6: Preventing Dating Sexual Abuse/ Reviewing the Safe Dates Program|
|Session 7: How We Feel, How We Deal|
|Session 8: Equal Power Through Communication|
|Session 9: Preventing Dating Sexual Abuse|
|Session 10: Reviewing the Safe Dates Program|
Each session will provide detailed information for the students as well as activities for them to participate in throughout the presentation. The sessions are set up in a way that each one builds upon the one before it. Each of the six sessions has its own set of goals and anticipated outcomes for what the students will take away from the presentation and activities. Each student will be provided with handouts with all activities in the curriculum.
By the end of the sessions there are 4 main goals that the curriculum aims to achieve:
- Raise students’ awareness of what constitutes healthy and abusive dating relationships
- Raise students’ awareness of dating abuse and its causes and consequences
- Equip students with the skills and resources to help themselves or friends in abusive dating relationships
Equip students with the skills to develop healthy dating relationships, including positive communication, anger management, and conflict resolution.
Safe Dates can be used as a dating abuse prevention tool for middle and high school students, both male and female. It would also fit well within a health education, family life, or general life skills curriculum. (see the * Meeting National Academic Standards with Safe Dates sheet). Safe Dates does not promote or push dating relationships; nor does it contain any sexually explicit information.
If your school or agency is not able to commit to the full 6 sessions, the Teen Program Coordinator will work with you to fit your schedule (at least 1 hour of available time is required for assemblies/discussions).
Upstanders: Helping Teens Take A Positive Stand is an evidence-informed bystander intervention curriculum. The focus is on the prevention of the perpetration of sexual abuse. Upstanders is designed to assist 11th and 12th graders in an age-appropriate manner with developing positive social skills that will help them take a positive stand and act on behalf of themselves and others.
The curriculum is set up as a five session program; however, we can combine the program into the Safe Dates curriculum. The following sessions will be covered:
- 3 Steps To Help: A.C.T
- Social Media
- Gender Harassment
- Dating Abuse
- Male Athletes
Love Is Not Abuse is a dating violence and abuse prevention curriculum designed for college students. The goals of the curriculum are to increase students’ understanding of dating abuse, enable students to reach out to provide support and help to a friend or family member who may be involved in an abusive relationship, increase help-seeking behavior among students involved in abusive dating relationships, and promote healthier approaches to dating relationships and conflicts.
The following sessions will be covered:
- What is Dating Abuse?
- The Pattern of Abuse in Dating Violence & Abuse
- Technology & Dating Abuse
School and Community Based Teen Dating Abuse Training
School and Community Based Teen Dating Abuse Training is available upon request. Learning objectives include:
- Understand what teen dating abuse is and the prevalence of teen dating abuse
- Recognize the red flags/ warning signs of teen dating abuse
- Understand the effects/ consequences of teen dating abuse
- Summarize the factors that contribute to teen dating abuse
- Identify resources and safety planning tips for victims & perpetrators of teen dating abuse
- Teen Dating Abuse Laws
- Adapt policy in responding to teen dating abuse on school campuses and school related activities
We would be happy to provide information and resources to teens and young adults at community events.
To learn more about the programs listed above, please contact Jennifer Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to schedule a workshop, please complete the Interest Form.
Speak Up! Resource Center
Speak Up! Resource Center is available to teens from grades 7th – 12th. The resource center is located at the New Orleans Family Justice Center; however, a Dating Abuse Advocate might be available on the school site (upon request & availability). Students will be able to obtain information on how to stay safe by creating a safety plan, building a support system, and accessing legal services (restraining order, custody agreement, and legal advice). Referrals will be made through the New Orleans Family Justice Center (some services may require parent/guardian accompaniment for students under the age of 17).
Teen Dating Abuse Policy Initiative
The Teen Dating Abuse Policy Initiative was developed by Speak Up! in order to address teen dating abuse and support school staff/ faculty in serving students who are victims of dating abuse in the most effective way; and it strives to assist schools in the development of a Teen Dating Abuse policy. The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education recognizes that the development of a student, both academically and personally, reflects not only the educational programs and goals of school districts, but also the atmosphere in which the student attends school. As one in three adolescent girls is a victim of adolescent dating abuse and about 72% of eighth and ninth graders report dating, this policy promotes a specific, focused, and integrated system of supports to build a school climate that encourages healthy relationships and addresses all forms of adolescent dating abuse (verbal, emotional, sexual, and physical that can be carried out through technological abuse).
Speak Up! encourages districts in Orleans Parish to adopt this policy and will assist schools in implementing these guidelines as part of existing policies and other efforts to address bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, or other forms of abuse among students. Adolescent dating abuse prevention and intervention strategies can be used in advance of potential state mandates and to meet responsibilities under federal law. This policy is designed to ensure that every school has a staff that is prepared to recognize, respond to, and intervene effectively in incidents and reports of abuse and to prevent abusive behaviors by engaging staff, parents and students in promoting healthy teen relationships and to direct follow up when incidents are reported and/or occur.
If you are interested in any of the services available through the Speak Up! Program, contact the Teen Program Coordinator directly. Cost: The cost of our services are FREE. The New Orleans Family Justice Center (NOFJC) is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization (as recognized by the IRS) and gladly accepts donations.