Most of the handful of programs that have been empirically investigated are school-based and use a group format.Program length varies from less than a day to more than 20 sessions.A few programs frame the issue using a feminist perspective, while others use a more skills-based and gender-neutral approach.Teen dating violence prevention programs tend to focus on attitudes about violence, gender stereotyping, conflict management, and problem-solving skills.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.Watch a 3 minute video that describes the Dating Matters Recently, efforts to prevent teen dating violence have grown, particularly in schools and among policymakers and sexual violence and domestic violence prevention groups.Now many states and communities also are working to stop teen dating violence.
During the preteen and teen years, young people are learning the skills they need to form positive, healthy relationships with others.
School-level interventions included the use of temporary school-based restraining orders, higher levels of faculty and security presence in "hot spots," and raising awareness schoolwide.
Researchers found that, compared with the control group who received no intervention, students who received the school-level intervention or both the school- and classroom-level interventions experienced reduced levels of dating violence and sexual harassment.
Schools can help them learn what healthy relationships look like.
School-based activities for abuse prevention can help build skills for healthy relationships and benefit a teen’s emotional development.