Youth Abuse Prevention

Teaching our youth about healthy relationships prevents violence

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Youth Abuse Prevention Programming

One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, verbal, and/or emotional abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence. AVDA believes early prevention and intervention are the keys to ending domestic abuse.

In regards to the recent Texas Senate Bill 9 relating to public school instruction and materials for the prevention of child abuse, family violence, dating violence, and sex trafficking, AVDA provides presentations on three of the four topics. We have the flexibility to present programs in individual classrooms or via Zoom to larger segments of the school population. AVDA also trains teachers, counselors, and administrators and provides awareness education for parents.

Our abuse prevention programs for youth take three different tracks: one-time presentations by AVDA staff to school and Juvenile Justice audiences; eight-week curriculums for group sessions; and training coaches to mentor their athletes. Please contact John Reyes at JohnR@avda.org or 713-715-6923 for more information.

One-Time Presentations

AVDA can provide the following one-time presentations in-person or virtually for middle or high school students. Presentations are generally an hour in length.

Teen Dating Abuse Prevention Presentation

AVDA’s Teen Dating Abuse Prevention Presentation educates students on healthy relationships as well as the signs and consequences of dating abuse and how to help a friend in an abusive relationship.

Domestic Violence 101

This presentation define family violence and intimate partner violence for students and helps them understand the different types and signs of abuse, the Power and Control Wheel, the cycle of violence, and why victims sometimes stay in abusive relationships.

Understanding Sex Trafficking

How do young people get involved in sex trafficking? Students will learn how traffickers groom their victims and the signs that someone is being trafficked. Most importantly, traffickers can look like anyone and don’t fit one stereotype–they can be family members, peers, romantic partners, educators, employers, community leaders, and even clergy.

Healthy Relationships

This presentation focuses on building healthy relationship skills by engaging students to think about what they want in a dating partner, how they want to be treated, and their expectation of their own behavior toward a dating partner.

Eight-Week Programs

Safe Dates and LiveRespect educational abuse prevention programs are for high schools and organizations serving at-risk youth. AVDA staff presents the curricula, which can be tailored for duration and content. These programs may be modified for middle schools as well.

Safe Dates

The nationally acclaimed, evidence-based Safe Dates program is designed to stop or prevent the initiation of dating violence victimization and perpetration, including the psychological, physical, and sexual abuse that may occur between youths involved in a dating relationship. It may be offered as a 90-minute presentation or as an eight-session program (one meeting per week over a two-month period). Safe Dates teaches teens about healthy relationships, as well as the attitudes and behaviors associated with dating abuse and violence.

LiveRespect for Boys

LiveRespect may be offered as a 90-minute presentation or as an eight-week program for middle and high school boys. It teaches healthy and respectful manhood, originally developed by A Call to Men, LiveRespect teaches healthy and respectful manhood.

Topics covered include the following:

  • The Man Box
  • Society’s gender rules
  • Man Box teachings
  • The Media Connection
  • Understanding objectification
  • Understanding sexual harassment
  • Understanding sexual assault
  • Interrupt the cycle
  • Healthy manhood, healthy relationships

Coaches as Mentors: Abuse Prevention Programs for Athletes

Because student athletes are leaders in their middle and high schools, we train coaches to mentor their athletes with a focus on violence prevention and building healthy relationships. AVDA is the only organization in the Greater Houston Area with expertise in training athletic coaches in the nationally recognized programs Coaching Boys into Men and Athletes As Leaders.

Coaching Boys into Men

Athletic coaches play an extremely influential and unique role in the lives of young men. Because of these relationships, coaches are poised to influence how young men think and behave, both on and off the field. Coaching Boys into Men (CBIM) is the only evidence-based prevention program that trains and motivates high school coaches to teach their young male athletes healthy relationship skills and that violence never equals strength. 

AVDA trains and works with athletic coaches on the CBIM curriculum. The program requires just 15 minutes a week over a 12-week period and may take place during the season or during the off-season.

CBIM offers effective strategies and interactive scenarios based on the following topics to teach boys that violence never equals strength:

  • Personal responsibility
  • Insulting language
  • Disrespectful behavior towards women and girls
  • Digital disrespect
  • Understanding consent
  • Bragging about sexual reputation
  • When aggression crosses the line
  • There’s no excuse for relationship abuse
  • Communicating boundaries
  • Modeling respect and promoting equality
  • The Pledge.

Participants begin with a training workshop and receive all training materials, including the Coaches Kit, necessary to implement the CBIM program. As a result of this training, sports coaches will:

  • Better understand their role as a coach in influencing how young men treat women and girls;
  • Recognize “teachable moments” when they occur; and
  • Possess the tools to educate young men regarding dating violence.

Teams are encouraged to involve their fans, parents, faculty, other students and school administrators in support of CBIM’s message. By and large, athletes are often popular and influential leaders among their peers. The qualities of a successful athlete such as discipline, cooperation, and integrity are also the building blocks to becoming a respectful individual and a role model for others.

CBIM is a program of Futures Without Violence, a nonprofit organization that works to end violence against women, children and families around the world.

Athletes As Leaders

Athletes As Leaders is a program to train high school coaches of girls’ sports teams to empower female-identified youth to take an active role in promoting healthy relationships and ending sexual violence. Athletes are encouraged to be leaders in changing school social norms to a culture of safety and respect. The program is suggested to be used in conjunction with CBIM. The topics over the 10-week program are:

  • Introductions and group agreements
  • Challenging gender stereotypes
  • Privilege and oppression
  • Self image and standards of beauty
  • Rumor spreading
  • Relationships
  • Consent
  • Messages about manhood
  • Girl positivity
  • Celebrate our successes

Athletes As Leaders was created by Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress, Seattle, Washington.

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