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Sistercare’s Teen Outreach Program (TOP): The program is a youth development program designed to build educational awareness in teens as it relates to healthy behaviors and relationships, life and leadership skills, and Domestic Violence. The purpose of this program is to equip teens with the information and skills they need to successfully navigate the challenges they face and to choose healthy relationships.
TOP promotes the positive development of teens through the use of interactive group discussions, guided presentations, positive adult guidance and support as well as community involvement and service learning.
TOP is designed to meet the healthy relationship needs of middle schoolers (6th-8th grades) and the healthy relationship and dating needs of high schoolers (9th-12 grades). Programmatic engagement takes place in a variety of settings, including: during school, in after-school programs and through partnerships with other community organizations. Curriculum topics include: Discussion of the Four Types of Abuse (physical violence, sexual violence, stalking and psychological violence); Problem-solving and Conflict Resolution; Health and Wellness; and Positive Body Images and Self-Esteem.
Currently, one in three young women between the ages of 12 and 19 experience physical, emotional, or psychological abuse during their dating relationships. TOP is a preventive program designed to combat statistics of this nature and is striving to reach and educate young people in the Sistercare five-county service area.
National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline | 1-866-331-9474
What is Teen Abuse?
Teen dating violence includes physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
In today’s society, teen dating violence is a growing concern. In fact, surveys suggest that South Carolina teens are experiencing dating violence at a distressing rate. Sistercare encourages parents to talk to their children about the facts and signs of dating violence and to always be cognizant of their dating relationships.
A Growing Concern
- About 70% of girls and 52% of boys who are victims of dating violence report an injury from a violent relationship.
- Approximately 8% of boys and 9% of girls have been to an emergency room for an injury received from a dating partner.
- Adolescents who are victims of dating violence are more likely to report binge drinking, suicide attempts, physical fighting, and sexual activity.
Signs of Dating Violence
Dating violence is associated with unhealthy sexual behaviors that can lead to unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV infections. Signs that a teen is suffering from dating violence are:
- Worries all the time about making their romantic partner jealous.
- Apologizes for their dating partner’s behavior or makes excuses for them.
- Spends a lot of time with the person they are dating, but not with other friends.
- Casually mentions the dating partner’s violent behavior, but laughs it off as a joke.
- Has unexplained injuries or the explanations don’t make sense.
- Gets constant texts or calls from their romantic partner.
- Changes their behavior, clothing, academic goals, or friendships.
- Gives up hobbies or activities that were once enjoyed.