Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships
By ensuring that their first relationships are healthy ones, we can help young people detect and prevent intimate partner violence throughout their lives.
In 2009, FUTURES launched Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships (Start Strong) a national program aimed at promoting healthy relationships among 11 to 14-year-olds and identifying promising ways to prevent teen dating violence.
Many youth explore romantic relationships – and even start dating – for the first time between the ages of 11 and 14, but healthy relationship conversations and education often don’t begin until much later. If we act early to educate our young people and engage them in conversations about healthy relationships, rather than react to unhealthy ones later on, we can stop teen dating violence before it starts.
Funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in collaboration with Blue Shield of California Foundation, Start Strong operated in 11 sites throughout the United States until 2013, implementing community-based programs to educate middle schoolers about healthy relationship skills and engage them in a dialogue during this pivotal time in their lives.
While the program is no longer active, our Start Strong website offers a wealth of information for community leaders, educators, parents, advocates, and more. Visit the website to find testimonials, case studies, lessons learned, guides for crafting school policies, and more.