Start Strong Youth Leaders Speak about Teen Dating Violence Prevention on Oprah

    • March 12, 2009

On Thursday, March 12, 2010 Idaho teens from the Idaho Teen Dating Violence Advisory Council and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships Advisory Council will appear on "Oprah" via Skype to discuss teen dating violence.

In November 2008, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced 11 grant recipients of an unprecedented four-year initiative, , to create and evaluate new ways to prevent teen dating violence and abuse.The Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence was one of 11 organizations selected to participate in the Start Strong initiative. The Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence is collaborating with St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center, the Idaho Department of Education and 10 collaborating organizations in this communitywide effort to educate and engage students ages 11 to 14 years old in Southwest Idaho to build healthy relationships and prevent teen dating abuse.

Idaho is no exception to the increase in teen dating violence. The 2007 Idaho Youth Risk Behavior Survey found 14 percent of Idaho students were hit, slapped or physically hurt by their partners during the past year, while 11 percent of high school girls were forced to have unwanted sex.

“We have learned that the solution is not easy; developing and implementing a comprehensive approach to prevention is difficult,” said Kelly Miller, project director. “But by strengthening the skills for developing healthy relationships among adolescents and fostering awareness of the prevalence of teen dating violence between teens and their parents, schools and communities, we believe we can reduce the cycle of violence and incidence of intimate partner violence later in life.”

Four of the teens appearing on "Oprah" represent the Start Strong Teen Relationships Advisory Council and are involved in designing and implementing this prevention initiative.

Start Strong is RWJF’s first investment in the prevention of intimate partner violence to move the issue to the forefront of public health concerns and stimulate new pathways for prevention.