SAFE DATES: TEEN DATING VIOLENCE PREVENTION
Teen Dating Violence Prevention Program
Safe Dates is a highly engaging and interactive program that targets attitudes and behaviors associated with dating abuse and violence. The target audience for Safe Dates is male and female teens between the ages of 12 and 18 that reside in Philadelphia County.
The curriculum consists of ten 50-minute sessions and includes the following five components:
A ten-session dating abuse curriculum
A play about dating abuse
A poster contest
Parent materials, including a letter, newsletter, and the Families for Safe Dates program
An evaluation questionnaire
Dating abuse is a serious issue that often goes unnoticed. Dating abuse can happen to anyone, teens and adults in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. Dating abuse includes any behaviors that are used to control and manipulate a dating partner. These may include:
Physically abusive behaviors such as hitting, shaking, throwing things, forcing unwanted sexual actions, choking, and using a weapon
Emotionally abusive behaviors such as ignoring a date’s feelings, insulting a date’s beliefs or values, isolating a date from others, displaying inappropriate anger, damaging personal property, humiliating a date in public or private, and threatening to hurt oneself
In 2011, the Center for Disease Control reported that 15.2% of youth grades 9-12 in Philadelphia had been a victim of some type of physical abuse at the hand of their boyfriend or girlfriend, 5.8% higher than the national average.1 The proportion of high school students found to ever have been a victim of dating violence ranges from 10% to 38%. Nearly 20.9% of female high school students and 13.4% of male high school students report being physically or sexually abused by a dating partner. In addition, 50% of young people who experience rape or physical or sexual abuse will attempt to commit suicide.4
The Safe Dates Teen Dating Violence Prevention Program (Safe Dates) is the only evidence based curriculum that prevents dating abuse and helps teens recognize the difference between a caring, supportive relationship versus a controlling, physical, or verbal abusive dating relationship. The overarching goal of Safe Dates is to “Stop Dating Violence Before it Begins.”
Program Goals include:
To raise student awareness of what constitutes healthy and abusive dating relationships
To raise student awareness of dating abuse and its causes and consequences
To equip students with the skills and resources to help themselves or friends in abusive dating relationships
To equip students with the skills to develop healthy dating relationships, including positive communication, anger management, and conflict resolution
1 Foshee, V., & Langwick, S. (2004). Safe dates: An adolescent dating abuse
prevention curriculum (2nd ed.). Center City, Minn.: Hazelden Foundation.
2 Vagi, K. J., O’Malley Olson, E., Basile, K. C., & Vivolo-Kantor, (2015). Teen
dating violence (physical and sexual) among US high school students:
Findings from the 2013 national youth risk behavior survey. JAMA
Pediatrics, 169(5), 474-482.
3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014). Youth risk behavior
surveillance — United States, 2013. Morbidity and Mortality Weeklym Report, 63(4).vZweig, J. M., Dank, M., Lachman, P., & Yahner, J. (2013). Technology, teen dating violence and abuse, and bullying. Retrieved from
4 Chamberlain PhD MPH, Linda. "Dating Violence Literature Review." Futures
Without Violence. Accessed on April 22, 2014.
PBWHA partners with schools and community-based organizations to conduct workshops.
Please contact us if you have any questions or wish to host workshops at your site.