MODULE FOUR: DYNAMICS OF TEEN DATING VIOLENCE AND HOW TO HELP A FRIEND
This module focuses on providing participants with information on school and community resources available for survivors of dating violence. Participants will apply skills from the How to Help a Friend handout. Participants will explore the dynamics of a healthy relationship and their own relationship expectations.
- Participants will critically evaluate the range of behaviors considered unhealthy and understand warning signs for unhealthy relationships.
- Participants will understand the dynamics of a healthy relationship.
- Participants will learn strategies to address teen dating violence behaviors with their peers.
- Sign-In Sheet
Activity One: Dynamics of Teen Dating Violence
- Matters of Choice DVD
- DVD Player
- Dating Basics handout
Activity Two: How to Help a Friend
- How to Help a Friend handout
- Group Process Notes
INTRODUCTlON: (5 MINUTES)
Have the participants sign in. Ask them how their week is going. Review the agreements established during Module One.
Ask the participants if they have any additional information or agreements they want to add. Remind them of the importance of these agreements given the personal nature of the information that will be discussed.
ACTIVITY ONE: MATHEW AND MEGAN FILM (25 MINUTES)
THE PURPOSE OF THIS ACTIVITY IS TO ANALYZE THE FILM AND DISCUSS HEALTHY AND UNHEALTHY DATING BEHAVIORS.
Play The Matters of Choice DVD.
AFTER THE FILM IS OVER ASK THE FOLLOWING DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
Regarding Matthew and Megan’s Relationship:
- At what point in Matthew and Megan’s story did you first start to notice warning signs that their relationship was not healthy?
- What types of abuse do we eventually see between Megan and Matthew?
- How does the abuse happen usually; gradually or all at once?
- Megan is nervous as she tells Matthew that Ana has invited her to spend some vacation time in Puerto Rico this summer. 00 you think it is okay for one partner to have to ask “permission” to do things?
- Can a relationship be healthy if one person is afraid of the other?
- Mathew tells viewers his last girlfriend left him because he was too possessive. Can a relationship be healthy if one person is too possessive?
- In what ways do you see Matthew trying to control Megan?
- Considering Megan’s personal strengths at the beginning of the film, what happens to her as her relationship with Matthew continues? Does she change?
- Why is Megan confused about what to do?
- Who can Ana talk to about the situation?
At the end of the discussion, distribute and review the Dating Basics handout.
ACTIVITY TWO: HOW TO HELP A FRIEND (15 MINUTES)
THE PURPOSE OF THIS ACTIVITY IS TO DISCUSS HOW TO SAFELY HELP A FRIEND.
After participants view The Matters of Choice, ask the below discussion question. Make sure to validate concerns about the challenges of helping a friend in real life. If possible, address some of their concerns if they are specific to your school or community.
- Do you think it would be difficult to offer support to a friend in real life who was experiencing teen dating violence or something like this?
Some students feel it is not their business, that the person can take care of themselves, or they don’t want to get involved. State that violence is never a solution to helping a friend who is in an abusive situation. However, discussing the abuse with a trusted adult can be a way to help. Brainstorm with participants who their trusted adults are as they are unique for each participant.
- Should Ana keep her promise not to tell anyone about the incident in the parking lot? Is it ever okay to betray a friend’s confidence?
If a friend is in physical danger, speaking to a trusted adult is a safe strategy. Your friend may be angry in the short term for breaking their confidence, but in the long term you may be helping them escape a potentially dangerous situation. If you know a friend is hurting or being hurt by their partner, reaching out to an adult can be helpful.
Sometimes people who are abused don’t feel safe telling others about their situation because they feel the violence may increase, they may feel ashamed, or that people will judge them. Provide participants with Martha’s House information. Let participants know that Martha’s House is a free and confidential resource to discuss relationships. The hotline is available 24/7 and 365 days a year. Provide the participants with a Statewide Hotline Bookmark.
There is also the National Teen Dating Violence Hotline where teens can chat live with an advocate at Loveisrespect.org. The Florida Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at 1-800- 500-1119. The website includes many different resources and referrals for teens. Distribute the How to Help a Friend handout.
CLOSING: (5-10 MINUTES)
Explain that it is important to define healthy and unhealthy relationships for yourself and to think about what is important to you. Knowing how you do and do not want to be treated will help you make good choices when you consider dating in the future. You cannot control how another person behaves, but you can control whether or not you treat your partner with equality and respect.
PEAK AND PIT OF THE SESSION: (5 MINUTES)
As part of the closing, you will to ask participants what was the peak and the pit of the session. Go around the group and ask everyone to say what they thought the best part of the session was and what the worst part of it was.
HANDOUTS AND ADDITIONAL MATERIALS: MODULE FOUR
Dating Basics handout
Help a Friend handout
- Module One: What’s Up?
- Module Two: Who Has the Power?
- Module Three: Healthy Relationships
- Module Four: Dynamics of Teen Dating Violence and How to Help a Friend
- Module Five: Being an Ally
- Module Six: Boundaries
- Module Seven: How We Feel, How We Deal
- Module Eight The Man Box
- Module Nine: Creating a Community Tool
- Module Ten: What can you Do?
- Mentor’s Toolbox