Youth Capabilities and Leadership Action to
Promote Healthy Relationships Project
About 1 in 3 youth and young adults has experienced some form of teen dating violence, including psychological and physical violence. In South Carolina high schools in 2011, about 1 in 8 girls and 1 in 10 boys were hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
In 2012, Dr. Whitaker launched “Youth Capabilities and Leadership Action to Promote Healthy Relationships (Y-CLAP-HR) Phase I (formerly Y-CLAP-TDV). The project is in collaboration with community partners at Irmo High School and School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties. The goal of Phase I was to use focus groups and interviews listen carefully to youth, parents, school personnel, and district and state officials to gain a better understanding of multi-level prevention needs in the district. Phase I results showed that youth want safe, confidential, and ongoing support to build healthy relationships.
Based on these results, and working with an emerging opportunity at the high school, Y-CLAP-HR Phase II is developing an iPad App that will be the basis for a cost-efficient youth-driven information system to promote understanding of healthy relationships, promote healthy relationship strategies, and ultimately contribute to dating violence prevention. Verizon Foundation has awarded Dr. Whitaker a 2-year grant for Phase II. This project is deepening the listening process to explore reactions to the app and will also involve a pilot test with high school students later in 2014.