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PowerBack Teen Information Booklet | PDF
PowerBack Comprehensive Report: 2009-2015 | PDF
Since 2009, APFC has anonymously surveyed 18,200 teens in New Jersey about abuse in relationships:
- 72% say that dating abuse is happening at their school
- 63% of girls and 37% of boys personally know a victim
- 26% of girls and 18% of boys report being verbally and emotionally abused by a partner
- 13% of girls said they have submitted to sex out of fear of their partner
- 36% believe that victims are "somewhat" responsible for the abuse (victim-blaming)
- 82% of girls and 44% of boys say that they want to learn more about the issue
- 74% of students would first reach out to a friend for advice and support rather than a parent, teacher, school counselor, hotline, or other adult (and often give each other inappropriate or dangerous advice)
- 22% tell us that they have witnessed domestic violence at home (more than 2,000 families affected!)
PowerBack is our comprehensive dating abuse education and prevention program that addresses these statistics by giving high school students the "power back" to help themselves, their classmates or loved ones.
There is no other program in our state that addresses this issue as comprehensively as we do in PowerBack.
PowerBack has five components:
- Teen Forums are presented to the entire student body early in the school year; all students receive information and resources for support. At the end of the forum, there is a "call to action" where any student can sign up to become a PowerBack peer leader.
- Monthly PowerBack Meetings educate budding peer leaders: Students learn how to safely and effectively help friends and classmates and how to advocate for social change by speaking out against abuse and by promoting healthy dating relationships. Students must pass our certification exam in order to achieve peer leader status and they are required to develop and implement an awareness event on campus.
- Workshops for Staff provide an opportunity for faculty, clinical staff and administrators to learn effective ways to reach out to victims, approach abusers, safety plan, document incidents, and comply with the NJ "Safe Dates" law.
- Workshops for Parents, Guardians & Caregivers provide them with valuable information on the dynamics of abuse, how to reach (not alienate!) their teens, and where to go for support.
- Individual Support: APFC provides one-on-one counseling support to any victim (teen, faculty member, or parent/guardian of teen) who is being abused by a partner or who witnesses abuse at home. This component is extended all current and former PowerBack schools. Sessions are limited, but referrals to experienced professionals are provided if long-term support is needed.
Since the program's inception we have:
- Certified 352 PowerBack teen peer leaders in New Jersey
- Provided 568 teen victims and 75 adult victims with support and referrals
- Educated 1,331 adults (teachers, school counselors, administrators, parents and guardians)
- Reached 13,000+ teens at awareness events
Participation in the full PowerBack program is based on funding levels. Schools are chosen on a first-come, first-served basis. At this time, there is a waiting list for new schools; if you want to be placed on that list, or if you want to arrange for a Teen Forum or Professional Development Workshop at your school for a modest fee, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a complete list of schools that have hosted components of PowerBack, visit our
Partners & Resources page.
***We need volunteers to support PowerBack!***
If you can help to plan a fundraiser or assist us in identifying potential funders so that we can serve more schools, reach out to us for more information on how you can play a role in preventing teen dating abuse.
If you are a teen and need immediate support, please reach out to the National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline at (866) 331-9474. It's free and confidential.