We’ve enhanced our Healthy Relationships program, in collaboration with the Domestic Violence Network, to better help teens learn how to effectively communicate in romantic relationships. The new CARE™ program, Communicating with And Respecting Each other, addresses teen dating violence prevention and focuses on all dating relationships whether they are impacted by violence or not. The program teaches essential interpersonal communication skills, including verbal and nonverbal communication, which are so important in this hi-tech age of digital devices. All class discussions are offered in a safe, nonjudgmental co-ed environment, where students are respected and can ask questions.
Day 1: Healthy Relationships
Students identify the different types of relationships they are a part of, including family relationships, friendships and romantic relationships. Students will gain an understanding of values and the important role shared values play in healthy relationships. Students will brainstorm their values and characteristics of healthy relationships and use these characteristics to describe how a healthy romantic relationship is built on a solid foundation of shared values and positive characteristics.
Day 2: Communication in Relationships
Students will discuss how communication happens in healthy relationships. Students will explore the benefits and challenges of using digital communication to engage with dating partners. Students will discuss the risks of sexting and will understand the consequences associated with participating in this risky behavior. Students will develop skills to refuse a request for an inappropriate photo or video.
Day 3: Violence in Relationships
Students will learn to recognize the characteristics of relationships, which may be warning signs of potential abuse. Students will develop skills for reporting dangerous relationships, if they are experiencing these relationships or if their friends or family members may be, including how to use text lines and on-line apps to anonymously seek help in leaving an abusive relationship.
Day 4: Understanding Consent
Students will discuss the concept of consent and will understand that consent is when both partners communicate an enthusiastic “yes.” Students will be able to articulate the importance of clearly expressing wants, needs, thoughts and feelings in a relationship. Students will define and discuss rape and will be able to list appropriate courses of action to take if they or someone they know has been raped.