Stay in love
Research makes clear that people in the age of 16 to 25 years run the greatest risk of becoming victim of domestic violence. Therefore prevention of this type of crime is important, in particular among young people. The project in hand is aimed at the way a positive relationship is built and maintained. There are few if none of such projects in the Netherlands. Therefore a programme for the prevention of relational violence was needed.
The goals of the project are:
- to enlarge knowledge and to raise consciousness of young people about positive relationships;
- to influence young people’s attitude and behaviour regarding relationships and
- to prevent problems in relationships leading to violence.
The programme wants to reach these goals with the following:
- stimulating young people to reflect about what they want and do not want in a relationship;
- learning them skills to communicate desires and expectations and indicate their limits;
- informing them about how to get/keep a relationship nice and positive;
- raising consciousness about behaviour and attitude towards a relationship;
- learning them to recognize signals that things might go wrong and
- informing them about where to get help
The project was tested in two regions and since the results are very positive, it will be applied on a national level. The programme is universal in the sense that its subject is the prevention of relational violence for all kinds of young people. It focuses on the age group of 16 to 20 though. However, the design of the tools connects with relevant factors in the target groups such as gender, cultural background and youth culture.
The projects consists of a range of tools that were developed especially for this programme. It includes among other things a series of lessons, a website and a theater production. One of the distinctive issues is the knowledge of and insight in risk factors that can lead to relational violence. A series of lessons in school were the key element of the programme. Teachers were especially trained for it. There is a variety of tools that support the lessons. There are a theater play and a rap song that appeal very well to the young people involved. These tools are used as input for the lessons. Other materials such as the relation test, the cards and the leaflets can be used in the lessons but also independently.
Cooperation plays an important role. Therefore a network was set up in which a large group of relevant partners are involved.
It can be concluded that Stay in Love has had a positive effect on young people’s behaviour and attitude. They are more conscious about their relationships and they tolerate less risk factor related behaviour. Instead they take up a position in which they can defend themselves more often.
The project started in 2007 and is still running.
Last review: December 2009.