Description of Program
Safe Dates is an evidence-based program that targets attitudes and behaviors associated with dating abuse and violence. Dating abuse is a factor often linked to alcohol and drug abuse. Safe Dates is used as a prevention or early intervention tool. Through interactive lessons, students learn the difference between caring, healthy relationships and manipulative, abuse relationships. The program is offered to both male and female high school students.
The goals of Safe Dates are to raise student awareness of what constitutes healthy and abusive dating relationships, raise student awareness of dating abuse and its causes and consequences, equip students with the skills and resources to help themselves or friends in abusive dating relationships, and equip students with the skills to develop healthy dating relationships, including positive communication, anger management, and conflict resolution.
Safe Dates consists of five components. The curriculum is nine weeks long and includes information for parents and teachers as well. Each session is 45-50 minutes in length and comprises of the following topics—defining caring relationships, defining dating abuse, why people abuse, helping friends, overcoming gender stereotypes, equal power through communication, how we feel/how we deal, and preventing sexual assault.
Research showed that Safe Dates revealed many positive outcomes. Adolescents participating in the program reported less acceptance to dating violence, stronger communication and anger management skills, less gender stereotyping, and a heightened awareness for community services for dating abuse.
A follow-up study was conducted four years after implementation and revealed that those who participated reported 56 percent to 92 percent less physical and sexual dating violence than those who did not participate in the program.
For additional information, please contact:
Helen Varvi, M. Ed., CPS
Deputy Director at
or call at 732-254-3344 ext. 137