Respect: Healthy Relationships
People involved in abusive relationships
often believe this is the only kind of relationship available. This
brochure emphasizes that it does not have to be that way and provides
information about healthy dating relationships and how to recognize
and prevent intimate partner violence. There is a checklist that helps
teenagers assess their own relationships, and since it is written
in gender-neutral terms, it underscores the fact that abusive and
controlling behavior can occur in any kind of relationship and to
It is important to keep in mind that teenagers are still experimenting
with intimate relationships. Therefore, they may be more amenable
to change and improving the quality of their relationships than adults.
This is why school-based programs designed to reduce dating violence
appear to be somewhat effective.
How to Use This Tool
- This topic should be introduced as soon as patients reveal that
they are involved in a relationship, show an interest in dating,
or are engaging in sexual behavior.
- The issue of healthy relationships can be brought up along with
common physical concerns, such as sexually transmitted diseases.
- The brochure is also designed to use when clinicians are involved
either directly or indirectly in sex education courses at schools.
- At the end of a physical examination, it may be appropriate
to say to the patient, "Today we have discussed some of the
physical issues involved in intimate relationships. I'd like you
to have a look at this and maybe think about some of the emotional
relationship issues that are just as important."
While this brochure was designed for all teenagers, it had the
most resonance with the young females in focus groups. It is a
good idea to keep this in mind when talking with both male and
- When giving this brochure to a patient, it may be useful to
give the companion brochure, "Teen Dating Violence: Tips for Parents,"
to the parents.
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