supports ICADV Primary Prevention Initiatives
We celebrate youth workers serving kids in clubs, youth groups, congregations, and after school programs across Indiana! As youth workers you have the credibility to influence and the opportunity to create environments where kids can learn about, observe and grow to expect healthy, respectful relationships.
In the past year, the Indiana General Assembly, Department of Education, and advocates have worked to support schools in implementing healthy relationship education and policies. Violence prevention education in schools is essential, but it’s just a starting point for creating a youth culture in Indiana where respect is the expectation and healthy relationships are the norm. If schools in your area have been able to implement healthy relationship education, it would be great if you could communicate with them to discuss ways that you can support and reinforce those messages. If schools in your area have not been able to incorporate this education, you might want to conduct prevention curricula in your program. We strongly encourage you to talk with your local domestic violence program or rape crisis center to get support for your work. You may contact ICADV to get information about the programs serving your area.
We believe that acts of teen dating violence (TDV) come down to an individual’s choice to behave in ways that are abusive and controlling, but that decision is strongly influenced by factors in that young person’s environment. Our kids witness abusive relationships on reality tv, the radio, video games, among their peers and maybe even at home. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of negative relationship messages in our culture. To get the job done in preventing TDV, we must be at least as present, vocal, and convincing in presenting positive modeling and messages. You can be part of the solution by educating your kids about healthy relationships, modeling these behaviors in your interactions with kids and colleagues, implementing policies that establish respectful behaviors as the expectation within your organization and helping the youth whom you serve to process the negative messages and abusive relationship behaviors that they see all around them.
Because we know about the destructive impact that TDV has on our kids, it is our responsibility to pursue strategies that prevent that violence from happening in the first place. For that reason, the focus of this site is on primary prevention strategy. Primary prevention initiatives seek to reduce and to ultimately eliminate the acceptability of violence by establishing healthy, respectful behaviors as the expected norm.
While the focus of this site is on primary prevention, we also recognize that, until the violence is ended, we must provide compassionate, supportive interventions to youth who are experiencing TDV. Accordingly, in the following pages we provide you with comprehensive information to foster prevention by creating healthy, safe environments and to offer compassionate interventions where incidents of teen dating violence are indicated. Thanks very much for your work in service to Indiana youth and for joining us in the movement to end teen dating violence!