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Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention

Healthy & Safe Relationship Education

Everyone deserves healthy and safe relationships! A healthy and safe relationship is one where both partners treat each other with respect and dignity, and are supportive of each other’s individuality and boundaries. Communication about expectations and effective conflict resolution are very important features of healthy relationships.

Why is this a focus of the Kent County Health Department (KCHD)?

Relationship and sexual violence are more common than most people are aware of and are considered serious public health problems. Decades of research have shown that children who experience abuse and violence, or are witness to violence in their family, can have harmful and life-long physical, emotional, and mental health consequences. Teens and young adults who experience relationship abuse, or are abusive to others in their early relationships, are more at risk for becoming a future victim or perpetrator of abuse in their later relationships.

How is KCHD addressing this issue?

Relationship and sexual violence is preventable. KCHD offers schools and youth-serving organizations resources and programs to help young people build healthy relationships and recognize when relationships are abusive. KCHD also offers child sexual abuse prevention education and teen relationship abuse prevention education for parents and people who work with children and teens.

Healthy and Safe Relationship Education initiatives offered by KCHD:

Sexual Assault Prevention Action Team (SAPAT)

SAPAT is a coalition of local professionals that work in public health, social service, education, sexual assault services, counseling and advocacy, and law enforcement. SAPAT meets on a monthly basis. Each April, SAPAT distributes a newsletter to the community for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).

Contact: Amy Bercher | Amy.Bercher@kentcountymi.gov | (616) 632-7127

Safe Dates and Love Notes

Safe Dates and Love Notes are evidence-based curricula designed to reduce the risk that teens and young adults will become either victims or perpetrators of relationship and sexual violence. Programs are free for schools and organizations that serve youth.

Contact: Amy Bercher | Amy.Bercher@kentcountymi.gov | (616) 632-7127

Coaching Boys Into Men Facilitator Training

Coaching Boys Into Men is a program developed by Futures Without Violence. The program trains adults who work with boys to prevent dating and sexual violence. The program provides concise exercises for coaches and youth group leaders on how to effectively lead discussions about respect, integrity and non-violence in relationships. Trainings and program materials are free for schools and organizations that serve youth.

Contact: Aaron Toffoli | Aaron.Toffoli@kentcountymi.gov | (616) 632-7295

Young Leaders Against Violence (YLAV) Youth Council

YLAV is a group of high school students that organizes community and school events to raise awareness about the impact of violence and increase skills to prevent it. Being a part of YLAV provides the opportunity to be a leader and make a difference. High school students interested in joining can apply online at www.ylav.org Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Group meets during the school year.

For more information contact: stopviolencegrteens@gmail.com

Fact Sheets

Contact Us

Health Department

   

700 Fuller Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Administration
Monday-Friday
8:00am-5:00pm

Public Health Clinics

(616) 632-7100

(616) 632-7083

Mark Hall, MD, MPH
Medical Director

Adam London, RS, MPA
Administrative Health Officer

Animal Shelter

740 Fuller Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Monday-Friday: 9:30am-6:30pm
Closed for Lunch:
Monday-Friday: 1:00pm-2:00pm
Adoptions end 1 hour prior to closing.
Closed Saturday & Sunday

(616) 632-7300

(616) 632-7324

Environmental Health Services

700 Fuller Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

(616) 632-6900

(616) 632-6892

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Nominate a Kent County Employee for Quality Service!