These NYC-based organizations are educating teens of all gender expressions about what makes romance healthy.
Even though her high school had a guidance counselor, it was a meeting with her school’s RAPP (Relationship Abuse Prevention Program) coordinator, Ellen*, that helped her find the support she needed to end the relationship. “I didn’t go to my guidance counselor because they weren’t there to help with emotional issues,” Diana said.
Unlike traditional counselors, RAPP coordinators are licensed social workers trained to host workshops that focus on self-empowerment or LGBTQ relationships, something Diana and her fellow classmates gravitated toward.
Funded by NYC’s Human Resources Administration and the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, and working in partnership with Day One, Steps to End Violence and Urban Resource Institute (URI), RAPP’s main goal is to create a safe space where teens can confidentially share details about their romantic relationships, at a time when hormones and emotions play a huge role in intimacy. The result: Teens who experienced violence at home, who felt they didn’t have a voice in their relationships, gravitated toward the program. “It brought the students back to the community, and helped them succeed academically,” Luis Matos, senior director of community education and prevention services at URI, told NationSwell.
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