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Educating teens on healthy relationships

What do you think about this?  Check out this project using computers/technology to help teens recognize unhealthy relationships; a web-based intervention strategy which focuses on bystanders:

Abusive relationships between males and females can begin forming as young as the age of 14. Unfavorable outcomes — to put it lightly — can occur, especially as young people start experimenting with alcohol and/or drugs.


Dr. Laura Salazar, associate professor at GSU’s Institute of Public Health, is in the process of creating a web-based intervention programs for teens that educates them on dealing with unhealthy relationships they may see with their friends and acquaintances.


The end goal is a two-hour educational web-based program that teens can do at a computer. They will see serial dramas featuring teens in various situations, be given options for what to do in the situations, and see endings based on their decisions.

For example, they would see a female who was inebriated at a house party and a male trying to maneuver her into the bedroom. The teen would be given options to do nothing or to intervene and see what happens in each case. The program would also offer instruction on how to intervene properly and for females, things they can do to reduce their risk.

“It’s about bystander engagement,” Salazar said.


It’s too soon for a name, but the program does have a tagline that is being tested out: “Get in the way.”

“You’re always told ‘get out of the way,’ ‘stay out of others’ business,’” Salazar said.

“With this, we want to say make it your business—get in the way when you can.”

While the slogan “get in the way” seems somewhat problematic – especially if taken literally(personal safety is a must!) – an effort reaching youth via technologies that make sense to them and using scenes that are believable and based on decisions is really inspiring.  It reminds me of the Goosebumps books where you get to decide what happens next in the story.

So often we place all of our DV focus on victim/survivors or perpetrators.  It is high time we engage bystanders.  But what do you think?  Could this be an effective way to reach and teach individuals?


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