Supporting Safe Environments

The National Council on Crime and Delinquency Focus reports that one in three girls in the US 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 they are given the opportunity to develop into healthy and happy adults, therefore providing safe environments for their children and future generations to come. is one of our key partners that support safe environments for children and families in the communities we serve.

love is respect logoIn early 2012, the Healthy Kids, Healthy Families® initiative announced an exciting three-year partnership with . is a collaboration between Break the Cycle  and the National Dating Abuse Helpline  to tackle the growing epidemic of teen dating violence. Our partnership supports the enhancement of, which is the ultimate teen dating violence prevention resource in addition to tailored, on-the-ground outreach and awareness programs across Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Our involvement with this program will better equip our communities to respond to this growing and very unique form of abuse in an effort to create and maintain safe environments for our youth and set the stage for them to develop healthy and safe relationships as adults.

In the fall of 2013, “Start Talking” toolkits became available for schools and communities across our states. The curriculum contained within these toolkits provides an innovative approach to dating violence prevention using peers within schools and communities to help drive the conversation and define in their own terms and discover for themselves what it means to have a safe and healthy relationship. More than 700 toolkits have already been distributed and several multi-state trainings have occurred to educate youth leaders, parents and teachers on how to use these resources and tackle teen dating issues within their own community. We invite you to learn more  about this innovative program.