Dating Matters

Teen dating violence is a preventable public health problem. It requires a coordinated and comprehensive community response to stop it before it starts.

Program Description

CDC Dating Matters seeks to promote healthy relationships as a method to preventing dating violence.  A healthy relationship approach to violence prevention also allows for the related array of risk factors that are associated with dating violence to be included.  Dating Matters was developed as a comprehensive public health approach to the primary prevention of teen dating violence.  The specific focus of Dating Matters on 11-14 year old youth in high risk urban communities was developed to stop dating violence before it begins.

Baltimore Dating Matters is part of Baltimore City Health Department’s Office of Youth Violence Prevention and supports the Healthy Baltimore 2015 priority area of Healthy Children and Adolescents. The project serves the Baltimore City neighborhoods of Upton, Westport, Curtis Bay, Franklin Square, Milton Montford, Cherry Hill, Sandtown-Winchester and Middle East.

This program provides a comprehensive community response to reduce youth exposure to dating violence by targeting middle schools, parents of middle school students, middle school students in 6th-8th grade, teachers and community organizations with violence prevention strategies over a 5 year period.  Year 1 consisted of the program pilot and adaptation phase and years 2-5 consist of the program implementation and evaluation phase.

Additional components:

  • Youth Brand Ambassador   
  • BCPS staff trainings
  • Community Events
  • Policy Initiatives
  • Implementation of 3 Evidence Based Curricula
  • Implementation of 3 Evidence Informed Curricula
  • Facebook and Instagram elements
  • Social Indicator Development

Participating Schools

  • Arundel Elementary/Middle
  • Booker T. Washington Middle School
  • Curtis Bay Elementary/Middle
  • Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson Elementary/Middle
  • Dr. Rayner Browne Academy
  • Franklin Square Elementary/Middle
  • Friendship Academy at Cherry Hill
  • Harlem Park Elementary/Middle
  • Tench Tilghman Elementary/Middle
  • William Pinderhughes Elementary/Middle

Program Designs

  1. Standard Design Features
    • Safe Dates, an evidence based curriculum developed by Hazelden delivered to 8th grade students.
  2. Comprehensive Design Features
    • The delivery of  6th and 7th grade CDC developed Dating Matters curricula.
    • Safe Dates evidence based curriculum from the standard design is also delivered to 8th grade students in the comprehensive design.
    • CDC developed evidence based Parents Matter curriculum delivered to parents of 6th grade students.
    • CDC developed Dating Matters for Parents curricula delivered to parents of 7th grade students.
    • Hazelden developed evidence based Families for Safe Dates delivered to parents of 8th grade students
    • All comprehensive Middle School teachers and staff receive web based teen dating violence prevention training through the CDC.
    • Youth-led Communications Campaign featuring high school Youth Brand Ambassadors.

Related Media

For additional information, contact Dating Matters at 410-396-2206

Aisha Burgess, Director
[email protected]


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