A school curriculum
Breaking the cycle of domestic violence starts with our youth. This psycho-educational domestic violence program is geared towards middle school aged children. The lessons are based off discussion on power and control and the various types of abuse; emotional, verbal, financial, sexual, digital, spiritual, and physical.
The purpose of this program is to allow the youth to have open discussion, feel heard, become aware of the types of abuse, and to gain the knowledge of what to do if they are in or know someone in an abusive situation.
Evidence of similar piloted domestic violence education programs show that "boys and girls who had received the intervention became less accepting of domestic violence and more likely to seek help from pre‐ to post‐test, compared with those in the control group; outcomes did not vary by experiences of abuse. There was evidence that the change in attitudes for those in the intervention group was maintained at 3‐month follow‐up"(Fox, Corr, Gadd, & Sim 2016).
A secondary therapeutic component was added to the program in offering specific counseling office hours for the students. All students were over the age of 12 and are allowed 5 counseling sessions without having to gain parental permission.
Domestic Violence does not discriminate between age, race, ethnicity, and class. It is a spreading epidemic and a viscous cycle. We are working to break that cycle at a young age by educating the youth on the various aspects of domestic violence.
Studies have shown students that have a positive, open relationship with parents along with a healthy support system are more likely to be forthcoming if they are experiencing abuse. Perhaps the best advice for parents is to start talking about what constitutes a healthy, respectful relationship early on.
Speak with your child about these potential warning signs of abusive relationships and what this may look like for them.
If your child discloses that they are in an abusive relationship reassure them that they are not to blame and take proper measures to keep your child safe. Courage Connection can assist in providing domestic violence therapy for adults and children, court advocacy, shelter, and bilingual services.
There is a 24 hour hotline available for questions and referrals 217-384-4390.
Please email email@example.com or call Sara Whalen at 217-239-5346 with questions or concerns.