The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created a new prevention initiative, “Dating Matters™: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships”, to help halt the negative impacts of teen dating violence. Specifically, the program helps educate teens, school personnel and community individuals about the risk factors, warning signs and where to go for help for victims of teen dating violence.
Dating Matters is based on three teen dating violence facts:
- Dating violence has negative effects on mental health, physical health and school performance.
- Early invention is vital to stopping violence patterns from continuing into adult relationships. Teen dating violence can lead to problems in future relationships, such as intimate partner violence and sexual violence or victimization.
- Evidence shows that dating violence is widespread in economically disadvantaged urban communities where higher rates of violence and certain risk factors exist.
Dating Matters is a comprehensive program that was designed to teach proven preventative strategies for students aged 11 to 14 in high-risk, urban communities.
During the next five years, the CDC plans to implement Dating Matters in middle schools and neighborhoods in four high-risk urban areas:
- Baltimore, MD
- Chicago, IL
- Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- Oakland, CA
For more information about the program and its accompanying resources, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/datingmatters/.