Supporting Safe Environments
The National Council on Crime and Delinquency Focus reports that one in three girls in the U.S. is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner -- a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner each year. All children should be able to grow up in a safe environment where they have the freedom to learn and develop without fear. Often those positive influences that help our children develop into thoughtful, respectful and productive adults are missing from our homes and communities. Through the Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® initiative, we support programs that focus on the well-being and safety of a child, in addition to the family unit, so children are given the opportunity to develop into healthy and happy adults, in turn providing safe environments for their children and future generations to come.
Loveisrespect.org is one of our key partners that support safe environments for children and families in the communities we serve.
In early 2012, the Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® initiative announced an exciting three-year partnership with loveisrespect.org . Loveisrespect.org is a collaboration between Break the Cycle and the National Dating Abuse Helpline . Loveisrespect.org works to tackle the growing epidemic of teen dating violence. Loveisrespect.org is the ultimate teen dating violence prevention resource, and our partnership created tailored, on-the-ground outreach and awareness programs across Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Our involvement with this program has helped to better equip our communities to respond to this growing and unique form of abuse in an effort to create and maintain safe environments for our youths and set the stage for them to develop healthy and safe relationships as adults.
In 2014, we launched the “Start Talking” campaign– a multi-session learning program on dating abuse prevention and services -- at conference and service provider trainings. More than 1,000 “Start Talking” toolkits, distributed in schools and communities across our states, contain curriculum that provides an innovative approach to dating violence prevention. The program uses peers within schools and communities to help drive the conversation and help young adults define in their own terms and discover for themselves what it means to have a safe and healthy relationship. More than 575,000 youths are being exposed to this interactive curriculum on how to build positive and safe relationships.