The School of Public Policy SPP Research Papers
Teen violence in dating and peer relationships has huge costs to society in numerous areas including health care, social services, the workforce and the justice system. Physical, psychological, and sexual abuse have long-lasting ramifications for the perpetrators as well as the victims, and for the families involved on both sides of that equation. An effective violence prevention program that is part of a school’s curriculum is beneficial not only for teaching teenagers what is appropriate behaviour in a relationship, but also for helping them break the cycle of violence which may have begun at home with their own maltreatment as children. The Fourth R program is an efficacious violence prevention program that was developed in Ontario and has been implemented in schools throughout Canada and the U.S. Covering relationship dynamics common to dating violence as well as substance abuse, peer violence and unsafe sex, the program can be adapted to different cultures and to same-sex relationships. The program, which gets its name from the traditional 3Rs — reading, ’riting and ’rithmetic — offers schools the opportunity to provide effective programming for teens to reduce the likelihood of them using relationship for violence as they move into adulthood.