MODULE THREE: HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
This module focuses on the definition of violence and extending that definition to personal relationships. Participants will explore types of intimate partner and dating violence that can fall under the umbrella term “teen dating violence.” The session will introduce equality, rights, and respect in relationships through interactive exercises.
- Participants will identify what teen dating violence is.
- Participants will compose their own individual dating rights and responsibilities list.
- Participants will summarize the qualities of a healthy relationship.
- Sign-In Sheet
- Chart Paper
- Laminated Information Card
Activity One: For Real?!
- Chart Paper
Activity Two: Equality and My Bill of Rights
- Equality Wheel handout
- Chart Paper
- Healthy Relationship Brochures
- Group Process Notes
INTRODUCTION: (5 MINUTES)
Have the participants sign in and ask the participants how their week is going.
Review agreements established during Module One. Ask participants if they want to add or change anything. Remind the participants of the importance of these agreements given the personal nature of the information that will be discussed.
Let participants know that today you are going to be discussing dating relationships. Remind the participants that there are adults they can talk to during or after the session if they need to.
DISCUSSION: (10 MINUTES)
Review the definition of violence introduced in the first meeting: “Violence is anything that denies human integrity and leads to hopelessness and helplessness.” – Dr. Martin Luther King. Today that definition of violence is going to be extended to personal relationships.
Explain that the group will discuss healthy and unhealthy relationships. Explain even if they are not dating now, they all have other types of relationships, like with their family and friends, and this information is helpful for them to have. Explain that during the course of the discussion, the term “dating partner” will be used. This refers to a person who has a relationship with another person that goes beyond friendship, whether the couple refers to themselves as “dating” or as something else.
What are qualities that you look for in a dating partner?
Responses may include that person is attractive, funny, and kind, they like the same activities, they have the same background, or they are fun. If appropriate share your personal opinions.
What are qualities that you wouldn’t want in a dating partner?
Responses may include a person who is dishonest, controlling, and unreliable or who doesn’t share the same belief systems.
For the following questions you can create a chart:
- What are some behaviors that let you know you are in a healthy relationship?
Some examples are honesty, trust, support, and respect. Participants may also name some of the same qualities mentioned in the first discussion question. If appropriate, share your personal opinions.
- When is a relationship considered unhealthy or abusive?
Let the participants respond and chart their responses. Participants may give responses such as when one person is physical (hit, kick, slap, etc.) with another or when one person yells at the other. After charting participants’ answers, let them know that a relationship is considered abusive when one partner establishes a pattern of trying to have power or control over the other partner. Ask participants if they can recall the definition of power from the previous meeting.
ACTIVITY ONE: FOR REAL?! ACTIVITY (10 MINUTES)
Let the participants know that they will be discussing topics that may be upsetting like sexual assault. If they need to take a minute or speak with Martha’s House staff they can do so.
THE PURPOSE IS TO ENCOURAGE PARTICIPANTS TO UNDERSTAND THE SCOPE OF TEEN DATING VIOLENCE AND WHO IS AFFECTED. THESE CONCEPTS WILL BE USED TO PRODUCE AN OUTLINE FOR THE FOTONOVELA.
Tell participants that you are going to read a list of statements and if they think a statement is true they should stand up. If they think it is false, they should sit down. Ask each of the following questions out loud or write them on the board/chart paper.*
STATEMENT: ONE IN 10 ADOLESCENTS REPORT VERBAL, PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL OR SEXUAL ABUSE FROM A DATING PARTNER EACH YEAR.
ANSWER: FALSE. ONE IN FOUR ADOLESCENTS REPORT VERBAL, PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL OR SEXUAL ABUSE FROM A DATING PARTNER EACH YEAR. DATING VIOLENCE IS A PREVALENT ISSUE THAT AFFECTS
*Statistics are provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the “Tween and Teen Dating Violence and Abuse Study” conducted by Liz Claiborne Inc., 2008.
A LARGE NUMBER OF TEENS REGARDLESS OF SOCIOECONOMICS, RACE, ETHNICITY OR OTHER FACTORS.
STATEMENT: PEOPLE WHO ARE ABUSIVE ACT THAT WAY BEC/I.USE THEY USE DRUGS OR DRINK.
ANSWER: FALSE. ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR RESULTS FROM ONE PERSON’S FEELING THAT THEY DESERVE TO HAVE POWER OR CONTROL OVER SOMEONE ELSE. WHILE USING DRUGS OR ALCOHOL MAY CAUSE THE VIOLENCE TO ESCALATE OR GET WORSE, IT IS NOT THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE VIOLENCE. IF THE ABUSIVE PERSON STOPS ABUSING SUBSTANCES, IT DOES NOT MEAN THEY WILL STOP ABUSING THEIR PARNTER.
STATEMENT: EACH YEAR, ABOUT TWO MILLION ASSAULTS OR RAPES ARE PERPETRATED AGAINST WOMEN BY THEIR PARTNERS.
ANSWER: FALSE. EACH YEAR, WOMEN EXPERIENCE ABOUT 4.8 MILLION INTIMATE PARTNER RELATED PHYSICAL ASSAULTS AND RAPES. RESEARCH SHOWS WOMEN ARE MORE FREQUENTLY VICTIMIZED OR HURT BY THEIR PARTNERS THAN MEN.
Solicit feedback from participants about the statistics that were just shared. Allow sufficient time to process the information before providing the definitions. Explain that you will be discussing healthy and unhealthy relationships.
- What is teen dating violence?
Chart responses and provide the definition. Teen dating violence (TDV) is a pattern of behavior that includes physical, emotional, verbal or sexual abuse used by one person in an intimate relationship to exert power and control over another.
TDV includes kids or youth between the ages of 13 and 19 years old. People who are abusive use different tactics to have power or control over their partner including intimidation, threats, isolating them from friends or family, emotional/verbal abuse, cyber stalking, etc.
Ask participants if they remember discussing the fotonovela/comic strip. Tell them that the group will use the topics covered today to outline the story for the fotonovela.
- What does having equality in a relationship mean?
Write participants’ answers on the flip chart. Tell them that equality in this context means both partners are able to make decisions and choices equally or the same.
THE PURPOSE OF THIS ACTIVITY IS TO FURTHER DISCUSS MORE ABOUT WHAT TYPES OF RELATIONSHIP BEHAVIORS ARE HEALTHY.
Take approximately ten minutes to review the Equality Wheel with participants. You may either read the wheel aloud or you may ask for volunteers to read the wheel. Pair the participants up and give each pair a slice of the Equality Wheel. Ask them to come up with three to five examples of behaviors that fit their portion of the Wheel.
Sample answers include:
- Both partners can say how they feel.
- Disagreements happen, but both people feel safe.
- Negotiation and Fairness
- Choosing what activities to do together.
- Working out conflicts in a safe and non-violent way.
- Taking responsibility for one’s own actions and behaviors.
- Non-threatening Behavior
- Safely expressing how you feel.
- Respectful boundaries, including physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual.
- Engaging In activities both partners agree upon.
- Treating your partner how you want to be treated.
- Everyone participates in activities they enjoy such as church, family, sports and academics with no judgment or control.
- Everyone is able to have their own opinions and values.
- Trust and Support
- Respectful boundaries*, including physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual.
- Encouragement and support to participate in the activities they enjoy
- Honesty and Accountability
- Communicating truthfully
- If you make a mistake taking responsibility for it.
- Apologizing if you make a mistake.
- When one partner makes a mistake, the other partner may be upset but always be respond in a safe manner.
- Being faithful
- Self Confidence and Personal Growth
- Each partner can explore what they enjoy (hobbies, jobs, or friends) with the other person offering support.
- Each person is kind and supportive towards the other person.
- Shared Power
- When a decision is made, both partners have equal decision making power.
*Refer to the Boundaries module if participants need more explanation on what a boundary is.
Explain that for the next activity, participants will use the Equality Wheel as a tool to define their own “Dating Bill of Rights.” Ask participants to think of the rights they have in a relationship and to record at least five of them.
Prompt the discussion with these optional questions as needed to stimulate conversation:
- How do you feel you deserve to be treated by others?
- What are you unwilling to give up to be in a relationship?
- What are you unwilling to compromise on in general?
- What actions or behaviors demonstrate respect in a relationship?
- What actions or behaviors demonstrate equality in a relationship?
Allow participants about ten minutes to complete this activity. When the participants have completed the activity, allow volunteers to share some of their responses.
Pass out the My Relationship Rights handout and quickly review items participants have not addressed. Be sure to reinforce that these are also the responsibilities they have to their partner in a relationship.
Ask the participants to build on to the fotonovela/comic strip scenario they have been discussing. Tell them they have discussed some unhealthy relationship scenarios and ways that bystanders can intervene. Ask them for additional ideas based on today’s conversation.
CLOSING: (5-10 MINUTES)
Transition to discussing the fotonovela/comic strip that will be given to people in the community about preventing violence and promoting healthy relationships. Review the What is a Fotonovela handout. Ask them if they have any ideas or themes to discuss for the fotonovela Icomic strip related to this Module. For example, ask the participants if they were telling a friend about what they just learned today what would be some key ideas they might share? These ideas can be topics for the fotonovela. Chart the ideas.
PEAK AND PIT OF THE SESSION: (5 MINUTES)
As part of the closing you will to ask the youth 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 THREE
EQUALITY WHEEL FOR TEENS
- 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