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“Professionals from diverse sectors, parents, policy-makers, and youth themselves need to come together to collectively address and prevent violence.
The symposium series aims to spark dialogue on how we can work together to support the well-being of youth.” Advancing Healthy Youth Relationships and Social Justice: Ways to Prevent Teen Dating Violence in Schools and Communities equipped social work and education students with the knowledge and competencies needed to create the environments and social conditions that help young people build healthy relationships. Darren Lund, Ph D, a professor in the Werklund School of Education, says he was keen to partner with his social work colleagues to help raise awareness among pre-service professionals.
The Wise Guyz program was created at Calgary’ Centre for Sexuality, and uses four modules — human rights, sexual health, gender, and positive relationships — to teach boys how to create and sustain a healthy relationship.
“At the Centre for Sexuality, we know the importance of engaging with young men to prevent gender-based violence,” said President and CEO of the Centre for Sexuality, in the release.
Employees are eligible for domestic violence leave if they have been employed at least 90 days with the same employer.
Employees with less than 90 days of employment may still be granted leave.
The program has been at work teaching young men respect, responsibility, and how to have healthier relationships since its inception in 2010.
Wise Guyz promoted healthy masculinity in grade nine boys and teaches them about the causes of teen dating violence.
Preventing teen dating violence and combating its negative impacts on youth, including depression, suicidality, and substance misuse, are key components of this framework.
“It’s definitely encouraging,” says Lee, director of the Alberta Healthy Youth Relationships Strategy (AHYR) at Shift.
“Research tells us that when schools and communities promote healthy youth relationships, they play a key role in protecting against teen dating violence.
“I recognize the strong links between our faculties,” says Lund.
“I’m eager to reach the shared goals of reducing violence, along with fostering equitable and safe environments for professionals in their schools and communities.
Teen dating violence — also called intimate relationship violence or intimate partner violence among adolescents or adolescent relationship abuse — includes physical, psychological or sexual abuse; harassment; or stalking of any person ages 12 to 18 in the context of a past or present romantic or consensual relationship.