• Becca W.

Youth Prevention Education: In Students' Own Words

Updated: Jun 5, 2019

It’s the last few minutes of an 8th grade health class, students are laughing and chatting as the last of them hand in surveys of what they learned over the past three days. The room is filled with the energy that only comes from a group of teenagers who have been empowered to share their thoughts and questions, engaged in activities filled with movement and learning and encouraged to think about relationships in new ways. One teenager approaches a Sojourner youth educator and whispers quietly, “everything you said was new to me. Adults don’t really talk about this stuff…”

Moments like this are a regular occurrence during Sojourner’s youth prevention education presentations in local middle schools and high schools. February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and to mark the occasion, we are sharing some of what students have said our SafeU curriculum has offered to them. Students self-reported learning: Teen Dating Violence (prevalence, different types of abuse, wheel of Power and Control, who could be victims), Communication Skills, Setting and Respecting Boundaries, Consent, Strategies for Personal Safety, Relationships (red flags, importance of personal values, rights and responsibilities) and Ways to Help Someone (what Sojourner does, resources and ways to learn more), just to name a few. In their own words, students shared:

  • “I learned being possessive can be bad. You don’t own people.”

  • “You always have the option to say no, and consent should never be assumed. Even if you know the person it can still be rape.”

  • “Be confident in who you are!”

  • “I liked how people were able to voice their opinion and participate.”

  • “The games we did made it fun and more easy to learn and comprehend.”

  • “I liked going in depth on how to have a healthy relationship.”

1 in 3 young people are impacted by teen dating violence and 1 in 10 high school students has been physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend*. It’s important to provide opportunities to develop skills for healthy relationships, have discussions about consent and acknowledge that teen dating violence is far more common than many people realize. At Sojourner we are committed to helping young people have the best relationships they can. Join us in this commitment by talking with the young people in your life about healthy relationships and by sharing this newsletter!

*https://www.loveisrespect.org/resources/dating-violence-statistics/

#Prevention #TeenDatingViolence #SafeU

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