The ultimate goal of prevention and intervention is to stop dating violence before it begins.
During the preteen and teen years, young people are learning the skills they need to form positive, healthy relationships with others.
In one rigorous NIJ-funded study, school-level interventions in 30 New York City public middle schools reduced dating violence by up to 50 percent.Researchers evaluated dating violence and sexual harassment interventions by randomly assigning classes to receive: Youth exposed to domestic violence are at greater risk for being both a victim and the perpetrator of dating violence.
Classroom-level interventions were delivered in six sessions, using a curriculum emphasizing the consequences for perpetrators, state laws and penalties, the construction of gender roles, and healthy relationships.
Youth exposed to domestic violence are at increased risk to be both a victim and perpetrator of dating violence. Yet we currently have no violence intervention protocols for this vulnerable group.
To help fill the gap, NIJ funded an effort to adapt the successes of an existing evidence-based program, Families for Safe Dates, so it would be applicable to teens who are exposed to domestic violence.
The researchers noted that the classroom-level intervention alone was not effective in improving these outcomes.
These findings are important in several ways: The success of the school-level intervention is particularly important because it can be implemented with very few extra costs to schools.See the curriculum evaluated in this study, Shifting Boundaries: Lessons on Relationships for Students in Middle School (pdf, 65 pages).