Healthy Relationships for Youth – Teaching Respect for Peers
DAWN offers a unique healthy relationships class in several schools in King County. The ten-week curriculum includes interactive discussions of peer pressure, healthy relationships, stereotypes, and respecting one another. The goal of these classes is to raise awareness and to motivate youth to speak to each other about what it means to have a healthy relationship, romantic or otherwise. Through creating a safe space for transparency and vulnerability, the classes explore in depth how to recognize positive responses to anger and how to communicate with others in a healthy manner. The youth explore how and when to get involved in helping a friend or loved one who is in an abusive relationship and learn some practical interventions and how to find resources. By the end of the 10 week session, the students have some real-life skills to rely on for recognizing, forming and experiencing healthy relationships. In many classes we actually get to help students get out of unhealthy relationship they are currently involved in. They are able to articulate their experiences and become aware of unhealthy behaviors and identify warning signs within abusive relational patterns. The students increase their awareness around these unhealthy patterns in their family upbringing, cultural and societal norms.