Prevention and Education Programs
How can we prevent domestic violence from happening? Our Prevention team works with community members to find ways of promoting healthy individuals, relationships and communities. State officials and agencies from across Massachusetts have recognized REACH for our expertise on prevention strategies.
Our Prevention Programs help community members and professionals recognize and respond to domestic violence. Through informal dialogues and professional trainings, REACH shares information about relationship violence, how to spot the signs, where to refer someone for help, and safe ways to intervene. We train police departments, medical professionals, social service agencies, military personnel, local businesses and corporations, and faith organizations.
REACH also trains employers to help them create policies and practices that support employees who are survivors of domestic violence, in compliance with state law.
Often, the first people who become aware of an abusive relationship are friends, family, and neighbors. We bring people together in informal spaces (living rooms, cafes, libraries) to start conversations about dating and domestic violence, promote community ownership of these issues, and support community-driven projects. In Waltham we work with a team of volunteers who plan events to build social connections and make people feel less isolated.
In many of our trainings and dialogues, a representative from our Survivor Speakers Bureau will share their story and lend perspective. We train and support speakers to share their specific experiences with dating and domestic abuse as part of the discussion of the impact of abuse on individuals and families and the role of the community in supporting survivors.
If you are interested in having a professional training or community conversation, please contact our Director of Prevention Programs at Jessica@reachma.org
Peers Against ViolencE (PAVE) is REACH’s youth program. PAVE engages youth and adults who work with young people to learn about dating abuse and healthy relationships and become active leaders in dating violence prevention.
Through PAVE, REACH partners with schools to create lasting change using dating violence prevention programs tailored to the unique needs of each community. REACH’s multi-class curriculum engages youth in understanding healthy relationships, identifying warning signs of dating abuse and building skills to prevent abuse. REACH supports school administration and faculty with ongoing staff training. Through workshops and parent nights, REACH helps parents and other caring adults understand dating abuse and adolescent relationships. We encourage them to have conversations with their teens about healthy relationships.
We offer on-going training and technical assistance to local peer leadership programs and youth groups. Through a partnership with Waltham High School, REACH coordinates the PAVE Peer Leadership program, where Peer Leaders gain the skills necessary to create dating violence awareness events at their school, facilitate workshops on dating violence, and engage their peers in conversations about healthy and unhealthy relationships.
If you are interested in learning more about our youth work, please contact our Youth Education Specialist at Dani@reachma.org