Dating Violence Prevention Programs for Adolescents: An Analysis of Program Effectiveness and the Use of Language Regarding Anger
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The critical window of opportunity for violence prevention education is between the ages of 12 and 15. This thesis researches the content considered central to violence prevention programs designed to help to end teenage dating violence, and finds that 13 areas are considered vital in these types of programs. The curriculum of the Respectful Relationships Program of British Columbia is analyzed and found to include all 13 areas. The thesis also considers the Program’s approach to the role of anger management as a tool for violence prevention, and analyzes the language used in the Program’s session on anger with special reference to the responsibility of offenders, and the handling of blame. The analysis finds several examples where the Program’s language mitigates the offender’s responsibility for violence, and perpetuates blaming the victim. The thesis advocates taking a broader view than anger management by introducing adolescents to the problem of systemic violence brought about by the power imbalance between men and women in our society.