Most of the handful of programs that have been empirically investigated are school-based and use a group format.Program length varies from less than a day to more than 20 sessions.

During the preteen and teen years, young people are learning the skills they need to form positive, healthy relationships with others, and it is therefore an ideal time to promote healthy relationships and prevent patterns of teen dating violence that can last into adulthood.

Learn more about characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships.

For example, higher levels of bonding to parents and enhanced social skills can protect girls against victimization.

Similarly, for boys, high levels of parental bonding have been found to be associated with less externalizing behavior, which in turn is associated with less teen dating violence victimization.

The study looked at the effectiveness of a classroom curriculum, a school intervention at the building level, and a combination of the two.

The classroom intervention included six sessions in which there was an emphasis on the consequences of perpetrating teen dating violence (including state laws and penalties), the construction of gender roles, and healthy relationships.

Programs and evidence to support programs will continue to evolve.

To find the most up-to-date evidence-based programs related to teen dating violence, go to Crime and search “teen dating violence” or related terms.

Activities aimed at increasing awareness and dispelling myths about violence in relationships are often included in the curriculum.

The Safe Dates Project is an intervention that includes school activities (e.g., a theater production performed by peers, a curriculum of ten 45-minute sessions taught by health and physical education teachers, and a poster contest) and community activities (e.g., services for adolescents in abusive relationships and service provider training).

The combination also resulted in reduced incidences of sexual and physical dating violence by as much as 50 percent up to six months after the intervention.