There are many organizations that provide direct services to young people who experience dating violence, as well as information to adults who are concerned about young people. National and statewide initiatives and campaigns are also in place to provide training, technical assistance, public awareness, and community programming focused on engaging youth, adults, and community members to address dating violence. The following list includes phone or online helplines (national organizations only) that youth can reach out to for help. Also included are examples of national and statewide dating violence initiatives. Note that this list is not meant to be exhaustive but rather a starting point in your research.
Hotlines or Online Helplines
Love Is Respect: This helpline provides 24-hour national web-based and telephone resources to help teens experiencing dating abuse. Young people (as well as concerned friends, parents, teachers, clergy, law enforcement and service providers) anywhere in the country can call toll free, 1-866-331-9474, text “loveis” to 22522, or log on to the interactive website, loveisrespect.org, and receive immediate, confidential assistance.
The National Center for Victims of Crime: The National Center for Victims of Crime has a number of resources available to assist victims of crime. NCVC’s Connect Directory provides a fast and easy way for crime victims to locate services in their communities.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: This 24-hour national service is available at 1-800-799-SAFE or 1-800-787-3224 (TDD) to assist in safety planning, information and referrals to local agencies. Assistance is available in English and Spanish languages and interpreter services for 170 languages.
National Runaway Safeline: The National Runaway Safeline at 1-800-RUNAWAY is a 24 hour confidential hotline for runaway youth, teens in crisis and concerned friends and family members.
TEXT 4 HELP: TXT 4 HELP is a 24-hour text-for-support service offered by National Safe Place. Teens can text the word “safe” and their current location (address/city/state) to 69866. Within seconds, users will receive a message with the closest Safe Place location and contact number for the local youth shelter. Teens will then have the option to reply with “2chat” to text interactively with a mental health professional for more help.
GLBT National Youth Talkline: This hotline offers telephone peer counseling from Monday to Friday from 5-9pm Pacific Time at 1-800-246-PRIDE (1-800-246-7743). Peer counseling service is also offered through email at youth@GLBTNationalHelpCenter.org
IMALIVE: The National Hopeline Network provides 24 hour suicide crisis and domestic violence service referrals for teens at 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433). Callers are automatically routed to the closest certified crisis center.
Rape Abuse Incest National Network (RAINN): The Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network provides 24 hours services at 1-800-656-HOPE. RAINN will automatically transfer the caller to the nearest rape crisis center, anywhere in the nation. RAINN also runs the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, a free, confidential, secure service that provides live help over the RAINN website.
Organizations or Initiatives: National
Break the Cycle: Break the Cycle is a leading non-profit that works with youth, educators, service providers, and lawmakers to prevent and end dating violence. This national organization develops and operates programs designed to ensure that no young person is excluded from receiving the help, tools and information they need to live free from violence.
Futures Without Violence: Futures Without Violence is doing innovative work to address dating violence. Through work with coaches, teachers, and parents, and public service campaigns aimed at youth, the organization strives to keep teens safe and stop violence before it begins.
Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project: The Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project is a grassroots, non-profit organization founded by a gay male survivor of domestic violence and developed through the strength, contributions and participation of the community.
Hear My Voice Campaign: Break the Cycle’s Hear My Voice is the first national campaign specifically designed to educate LGBTQ youth about dating violence. Since its launch in 2009, the campaign has distributed resources to nearly 10,000 young people and advocates in the Austin, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Jennifer Ann's Group: Nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing teen dating violence through awareness, education, and advocacy. “Our award winning video games are an evidence-based approach to helping save adolescents from abusive relationships. Visit JAGga.me to play + learn + share.”
Let’s Be Real (LBR): An initiative of Break the Cycle, LBR is a movement for young people created by young people. “Under 24 year olds lead the way to truly young people-informed violence prevention with real, unedited conversations about dating and hookups, friends and crushes, boundaries, and #relationshipgoals.”
Love Is Not Abuse: The Love Is Not Abuse (LINA) Coalition is a growing national grassroots coalition of parents, teachers and ANYONE advocating for teen dating abuse education in every middle school and high school in the country. Break the Cycle is proud to be organizing the LINA Coalition, having been granted the program from Fifth & Pacific Companies (formerly Liz Claiborne Inc.).
The Network/La Red: The Network/La Red was formed to address battering in lesbian, bisexual women's, and transgender communities through a) the formation of a community-based multi-cultural organization in which battered/formerly battered lesbians, bisexual women, and transgender folks hold leadership roles; b) community organizing, education, and the provision of support services; and c) coalition-building with other movements for social change and social justice.
Things Aren't Always What You See Campaign: Created by Break the Cycle, the purpose of this campaign is to provide information to young people who are going through unhealthy and abusive situations in their relationships that they self-describe as “drama.” The goal of the campaign is to provide awareness and intervention information in private spaces like fitting rooms, lockers, changing rooms and even restrooms about the subtle forms of abuse or warning signs.
One Love: One Love was founded in 2010 to honor Yeardley Love, a UVA student who was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend just weeks before their graduation. After her death, Yeardley’s friends and family were shocked to learn the statistics about relationship violence and to realize that no one knew how at risk Yeardley really was. Today, One Love honors Yeardley by working with young people across the country to raise awareness about the warning signs of abuse and activate communities to work to change the statistics around relationship violence.
The Red Flag Campaign: Using a “bystander intervention” strategy, this public awareness campaign encourages friends and other campus community members to “say something” when they see warning signs ("red flags") for dating violence in a friend’s relationship. This campaign is a project of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, and was created by college students, college personnel, and community victim advocates.
The RESPECT! Campaign: The RESPECT! Campaign is an initiative of Futures Without Violence (formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund) and was created to advance a national movement to promote healthy relationships through positive role modeling and respect education by providing parents, teachers, coaches and other role models with tools and resources necessary to teach young people about respect in relationships. Through this campaign, Futures Without Violence seeks to amplify a national conversation about the critical role that parents, teachers, coaches, and other living, breathing role models to young people have to play in helping all of our sons and daughters shape a world that is free of relationship violence.
Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships: A national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in collaboration with the Futures Without Violence (FVPF), Start Strong is the largest initiative ever funded to target 11 to 14-year-olds, investing $18 million in 11 Start Strong communities across the country to identify and evaluate best practices in prevention to stop dating violence and abuse before it starts.
STRYVE (Striving to Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere): A national initiative led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), STRYVE provides communities with the knowledge and resources to be successful in preventing youth violence.
TeenDVMonth: Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month, also known as TeenDVMonth, is sponsored by Break the Cycle and loveisrespect.org and observed every year in the month of February. TeenDVMonth is a national effort to raise awareness about dating violence, promote programs that support young people, and encourage communities to prevent this form of abuse with the goal of decreasing the prevalence of dating violence among young people. Working together with youth from across the country, Break the Cycle has created a menu of activities to spread prevention education and awareness throughout the nation. Break the Cycle’s website also hosts the community calendar of TeenDVMonth events. Search for teen DV month events near you and submit your own.
Teen Esteem: It is the goal of Teen Esteem to equip, educate and empower teens, parents, educators and the community on issues related to teens and adolescent health.
That’s Not Cool: A national public education campaign that uses digital examples of controlling, pressuring, and threatening behavior to raise awareness about and prevent teen dating abuse. That's Not Cool is sponsored and co-created by Futures Without Violence (formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund), the Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women, and the Advertising Council.
A THIN LINE: MTV's campaign developed to empower youth to identify, respond to, and stop the spread of digital abuse in their lives and amongst their peers. The campaign hopes to spark a conversation and deliver information that helps youth draw their "digital line."
The Youth Initiative of the National Center for Victims of Crime: National strategic initiative to identify and fill the gaps in interventions to support youth affected by violence and victimization by building the nation's capacity to support them, while working to advance their rights and ensuring youth leadership on issues that affect youth.
VetoViolence: Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide grantees and partners with access to training and tools that focus on the primary prevention of violence. The portal includes free training, program planning resources, and an on-line application for the creation of success stories.
Stand Up Speak Up! Alaska: A project of the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Stand Up Speak Up! is a campaign and a movement of Alaska youth that are working to end violence and to create communities of respect. The campaign’s site offers information on respect and relationships and helps youth to connect with other youth that are interested in respectful relationships, being a leader in their school and in their communities, and ending violence.
Your Campus Can Be Ready: For Teen DV Month 2017, the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence launched the Your Campus Can Be Ready campaign to end adolescent dating abuse in California, one campus at a time, by calling on school boards across California to create policies that foster healthy relationship behaviors in middle and high schools.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Show Me Love DC!: A campaign to raise awareness about healthy relationships and provide resources for LGBTQ survivors of intimate partner violence.
I Am Courageous: Sponsored by the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the State of Florida Department of Children & Families, the I Am Courageous campaign teaches youth how to use their voice to help end dating abuse. The campaign’s website offers information on relationship rights and responsibilities, as well as tips and tools for speaking out against abuse.
Love What’s Real, Center for Healthy Teen Relationships: A project of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, The Love What’s Real initiative is designed to build knowledge and skills for healthy relationships. The Love What’s Real’s Real Moments.Real Relationships.campaign was developed for teens by teens. It features messages about building healthy relationships in ways that are relevant, respectful and meaningful to young people.
We Choose All of Us: An initiative of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence, We Choose All of Us is a middle school and high school campaign to create culture shifts in schools and communities toward a world where everyone is valued, where everyone is safe, and where everyone can thrive. We Choose All of Us believes that we are whole human beings. We believe in our collective humanity and our deep connection to all living things.
Stand4Respect: Stand4Respect is a joint effort of the prevention team at the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence(ICADV) and the ICADV Youth Council. Based on the premise that dating abuse is preventable, Stand4Respect provides resources to foster conversations between adults and teens about healthy relationships and to encourage teens to take action. “We believe that we are most successful when teens and adults work together to create relevant and cool prevention plans.”
Start Strong: Start Strong is a program of the Division of Violence Prevention at the Boston Public Health Commission, aimed at working with young people as the solution to ending teen dating violence. Start Strong is an innovative grass-roots effort focused on 11- to- 18-year-olds to prevent teen dating violence and abuse by actively promoting healthy relationships.
Expect Respect: Serving Austin-area schools since 1988, Expect Respect is built on an ecological, trauma-informed model and offers a comprehensive prevention program for youth in middle and high schools. Expect Respect engages youth, parents, schools and community organizations in promoting healthy teen relationships and preventing dating abuse.
Young Hearts Matter (YHM): Each February, the Texas Council on Family Violence promotes National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month through their statewide campaign, Young Hearts Matter. Young Hearts Matter promotes and supports the work of young leaders alongside adult allies in creating a state where healthy relationships are the norm. Access resources for youth, school officials, community organizations, and many more, and download the signature YHM toolkit.
ILLINOIS, NEW MEXICO, OKLAHOMA, AND TEXAS
"Start Talking" Campaign: Loveisrespect is partnering with Health Care Service Corporation and its Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans of Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas to inspire young people to start talking about healthy relationships.
Culturally Specific Initiatives
NativeLove: Verizon has partnered with the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center to raise awareness and help end violence against Native youth by empowering them to redefine Native Love. The NativeLove project encourages Native youth to think about what Native Love really is and to restore traditional ways of loving, characterized by respect, honor, kindness, family and compassion.
Youth Amig@s: Youth Amig@s are Latin@ youth ages 12-18 committed to taking action that supports the mission of Casa de Esperanza. This initiative strengthens leadership, public speaking and presentation skills while providing opportunities and creating safe spaces for Latin@ youth to explore Latin@ identity, gender norms, and healthy relationships.
Boy to Mentsch: An initiative empowering the Orthodox Jewish community to embrace the Torah and Jewish values that can help Orthodox boys become true mentschen (good people). The project emphasizes healthy masculinity and guides parents and boys to raise and become complete people who express themselves, care about others and thrive as good husbands, friends and members of the community.
Get Smart: Educates teens in the Orthodox community about the importance of prenuptial agreements in which a husband promises to grant a get (Jewish divorce) in the event the marriage should end. Get abuse is an insidious form of abuse that can leave a divorced Jewish woman unable to move on with her life and marry again.
For more information about innovative teen dating violence prevention programming, please explore the PreventIPV Tools Inventory on the PreventIPV.org website. This website features a collection of resources, including training tools, campaigns, and other materials for working with youth, which can be adapted in different communities to advance the prevention of dating violence.