Safe Dates® - Prevention Program for Dating Abuse

“Highly engaging and interactive, Safe Dates helps teens recognize the difference between caring, supportive relationships and controlling, manipulative, or abusive dating relationships.”


Program Goals:

   • Raise participant’s awareness of what constitutes healthy and abusive dating relationships

   • Raise participant’s awareness of dating abuse and its causes and consequences

   • Equip participants with the skills and resources to help themselves or friends

   • Equip participants with the skills to develop healthy dating relationships, including positive communication, anger

      management, and conflict resolution


The Safe Dates curriculum is a ten-session program that deals with attitudes and behaviors associated with dating abuse and violence. Each session is approximately fifty minutes. If there is not enough time for the ten session curriculum, there are options for four, five, or six-session programs. These programs range in length for 60 to 90 minutes each.


Session 1: Defining Caring Relationships. Through a bingo game and class discussions, students are introduced to the Safe Dates program and they consider how they would like to be treated in dating relationships.


Session 2: Defining Dating Abuse. Through the discussion of scenarios and the review of statistics, students clearly define what dating abuse is.


Session 3: Why Do People Abuse? Through large- and small-group discussions and the review of scenarios, students identify the causes and consequences of dating abuse.


Session 4: How to Help Friends. Through a decision-making exercise, a dramatic reading, and the introduction of the “Friend’s Wheel,” students learn why it is difficult to leave abusive relationships and how to help a friend in an abusive relationship.


Session 5: Helping Friends. Through stories and role-playing, students practice skills for helping friends who are victims of abuse or confronting friends who are abusive partners.


Session 6: Overcoming Gender Stereotypes. Through a writing exercise, small-group discussions, and scenarios, students learn about gender stereotypes and how these stereotypes can affect dating relationships.


Session 7: How We Feel, How We Deal. Through the use of a feelings diary and a discussion of “hot buttons,” students learn how to recognize and effectively handle their anger, so it doesn’t lead to abusive behavior.


Session 8: Equal Power through Communication. Students learn the four SAFE skills for effective communication and practice these skills in a variety of role-plays.


Session 9: Preventing Dating Sexual Abuse. Through taking a quiz, analysis of scenarios, and a discussion with peers, students learn about the issue of dating sexual abuse and how to prevent it from happening.


Session 10: Reviewing the Safe Dates Program. Through discussion, evaluation, and a poster contest, students will review the Safe Dates program and better retain the information learned.



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