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Canadian Public Health Association

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Preventing Youth Dating Violence: Building capacity for comprehensive sexuality education in Canada

CPHA, in partnership with the Centre for Sexuality, is adapting a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum and evaluating its effectiveness as an intervention for youth dating violence prevention. By applying a broad understanding of sexual health and well-being, CPHA aims to address healthy sexual relationships free of violence.

The purpose of this project is to enable youth to develop and practice the skills needed to make healthy decisions with regards to their sexuality and relationships, with the ultimate goal of helping to prevent youth dating violence in Canada. The project will likewise contribute to a greater understanding of the optimal ways to support professionals in delivering an evidence-based, comprehensive sexuality education curriculum to youth within school and community-based settings.

As part of this project, CPHA will partner with six community organizations across Canada to support and provide training related to the delivery and evaluation of the adapted curriculum in school and community-based settings in their respective communities. This project will value youth strengths and agency by incorporating feedback directly from Canadian youth throughout the project duration, and respect the sexual rights of all persons by applying a health equity and trauma- and violence-informed framework to all project activities.

Previous evaluations of sexual education curricula have focused primarily on outcomes related to use of contraception and delayed initiation of sexual activity. CPHA aims to address an omitted outcome: healthy sexual relationships free of violence. Evaluation of the adapted curriculum will therefore focus on improvements in youth knowledge, attitudes and skills related to healthy relationships and consent, including capacity related to negotiation and initiation of desired experiences and the ability to recognize unwanted or violent experiences in oneself and in others.

The project is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada through the Preventing Gender-Based Violence: the Health Perspective – Teen/Youth Dating Violence Prevention initiative.

For more information, please contact National Programs.


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