Start Strong Austin is a collaboration of school and community partners working together to promote safe and healthy teen relationships and prevent teen dating abuse. Austin is one of 11 sites in the United States participating in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation‘s Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationship Initiative.  Through this community-wide effort we are engaging community partners, strengthening youth leadership and utilizing innovative media strategies to build healthy teen relationships.

Teen Dating Violence is a Serious Public Health problem: The National Youth Risk Behavior Survey shows that one out of ten students has been hit, slapped or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend. Teen dating violence increases teens’ risk for physical, emotional and mental health problems including drug and alcohol abuse, unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, depression and anxiety and dropping out of school.

Start Strong is committed to prevention: There is a strong connection between our overall health and how we live, work, learn and love. This four-year initiative is mobilizing entire communities to create environments for youth that teach, model and support healthy relationships and prevent violence before it starts.

Teens are taking a lead to end violence and abuse in dating relationships: Teens want to be part of the solution and Start Strong is empowering them with the knowledge and skills to lead efforts to prevent dating violence in their communities.

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