Spreading the Word About Safe Dates

Prevention First's Karen Gillespie credits RWJF with helping to support a poster exhibit program designed to highlight healthy relationships.

    • August 7, 2012

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation granted funds to Prevention First through their New Jersey Health Initiatives Program to run the Healthy Relationships/Safe Dates project. This project, run by Prevention First staff, implemented the research-based curriculum, "Safe Dates," which has reached approximately 5,000 students with the message that dating violence is unacceptable.

The project has had a huge impact, which was most visible at the "Stop Dating Violence" poster exhibits. The exhibits, held at a local art gallery, provided opportunities for the students themselves to educate communities, parents and peers about the realities of dating abuse. The impact on parents, siblings and community members was obvious as they listened to the students who created the posters describe their award-winning entries with pride.

Thanks to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's New Jersey Health Initiatives Program, the Healthy Relationships/Safe Dates project was able to host three of these events. If one "picture paints a thousand words," the collection of art work from these three exhibits painted many more. Holding three events of this magnitude would not have been possible without funding from the Robert Wood Johnson's New Jersey Health Initiative Program. Their generosity has impacted Monmouth County youth far more than words are able to express.

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