There are many ways to structure teen dating violence prevention programming, but our experience and research have shown us that four key elements prove especially crucial to ensuring the success of prevention efforts; engaging those who influence middle schoolers; educating youth in and outside of school; using social marketing strategies; and working on policy and environmental change. These elements work together to tackle the problem from every angle, which is why we made them the core components of our Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships model.
We believe that all four elements taken together were what made possible the Start Strong program’s deep, lasting success. However, the reality is that many organizations and institutions may not be able to implement the Start Strong model in its entirety, due to limited capacity or budget constraints. That reality should not stop anyone from striving to make change on this issue.
We encourage you to apply the tips in this section as best as you can within the unique challenges and opportunities in your community. If we each do our best to prevent teen dating violence, together we can give all of our children the strong start in life and love that they deserve.