Learn about adolescent relationships and Youth Dating Violence (YDV) prevention practices.
The first step is to get training and be educated on the best practices to prevent YDV.
- Preventing YDV starts before adolescence, as attitudes about violence and using aggression begin to develop in youth.
- Experiencing bullying and bullying others puts youth at risk for involvement in dating violence during adolescence. See information on bullying prevention.
- Understand the differences in romantic relationships among different age groups
- Understand that youth are hesitant to disclose YDV to adults, including educators
Build healthy relationship skills.
Educators are responsible for teaching students appropriate behaviours and ways of communicating.
- These can be taught directly through healthy relationships curriculum or through interactions with youth and other adults.
- From a young age, students model their teachers’ behaviours and interactions with their students. Using aggression to resolve problems teaches children to do the same thing. In contrast, resolving problems using constructive and healthy methods builds the capacity in your students to do the same in their own relationships.
Educate students on healthy relationships and Youth Dating Violence.
Talk with students about healthy relationships and interpersonal violence. Make sure that they know violent behaviour is not normal or acceptable. Teach them about the types of dating violence and how to recognize it. This can occur in health classes, integrated into the sexual health curriculum, and through many teachable moments within a classroom.
Educate students on consent, boundaries, and individual agency.
Talk to your students about consent, boundaries, and their right to make decisions about their own body. Students need to know that they and their potential romantic partners have control over their own body, decisions, and actions in a relationship. This should be something taught in your interactions with your students. Check out our resources section for videos about consent.
Learn how to respond to YDV and provide resources to students.
- Provide a safe and inclusive environment in your classrooms.
- Let your students know that they can come to you for help or advice. Emphasize that their safety is your primary concern.
- Learn how to give warm referrals to youth. A warm referral is when an adult introduces the youth to the service provider direct, or calling the service with them.
- Provide helpful resources to your students when they come to you for help. Visit this pagefor a list of online resources. Available resources depend on where you live.
Support students through peer group training.
Many youth seek out help from their peers. Train peer groups to recognize the signs of involvement in Youth Dating Violence and how to support their friends.
Advocate for and support school policies which help to prevent Youth Dating Violence.
You can be active within your school community and promote effective policies which may reduce YDV, or allow well-informed responses to YDV disclosures from adults working in schools.
It is critical that schools actively teach equity, so students learn that all abuses of power in relationships are wrong.