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The Safe Shelter Teens Ending Relationship Abuse (TERA) Program is a prevention/education program for youth that utilizes high school students as “Peer Educators.” TERA exists to create awareness among middle school and high school students about unhealthy and abusive relationships. The TERA Program hopes to encourage teens to create positive healthy relationships and to safely intervene when they or a friend is in an unhealthy relationship.

ABOUT TERA
Mission: The TERA Program seeks to educate youth in the community and schools through social awareness presentations for the prevention of interpersonal violence in our community.

Program Goals:

  1. Peer Educators will gain knowledge about issues related to relationship abuse while enhancing presentation skills, self esteem and leadership qualities.
  2. TERA presentations will increase St. Vrain Valley School District (SVVSD) students' awareness of: (1) The dynamics and prevention of relationship abuse (including domestic violence, teen dating abuse, sexual harassment and sexual assault); (2) Personal rights and boundary-setting; (3) Ways to help peers (both abusers and victims) get needed support and assistance; (4) Available resources and services in their communities.

HISTORY OF TERA
TERA began during the 2007/2008 school year as a FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) service project. Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley adopted the small service project and it soon became the cornerstone of the services they now offer teens.

Now in it’s fifth year, the TERA Program has 15 Peer Educators and 5 Mentors. During the 2010/2011 academic year, the TERA Program reached over 1600 students in the St. Vrain Valley School District.
 
PEER EDUCATORS
The TERA Program utilizes teenagers as presenters. Twenty high school students are recruited each year and trained to become “Peer Educators” for the TERA Program, and to become youth leaders among their peers.
 
Qualifications of Peer Educators:

  • Be at least freshmen in high school within the St. Vrain Valley School District. 
  • Be able to make a commitment to the TERA Program from August through the end of the school year, attend all trainings, and attend at least half of the monthly meetings. 
  • Have a dedicated interest in creating positive social change by spreading awareness about teen relationship abuse. 
  • Must not currently be involved in an abusive relationship. 
  • Be committed to using non-violent behaviors and speech in their personal life.

Training

Peer Educators complete a comprehensive, engaging, and age-appropriate multi-day, 30 hour training This training provides the Peer Educators with a solid knowledge of teen dating abuse concepts, as well as presentation and helping skills.

During the school year, the Peer Educators are required to attend monthly group meetings to debrief their experiences, celebrate their successes, improve their presentations skills, and acquire additional knowledge.

LEADERSHIP
The TERA Program  is directed by the Outreach Youth Advocate of Safe Shelter and is supported by Safe Shelter staff and TERA Mentors. Mentors are adults in the community who have gone through extensive training with Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley. Mentors provide instructional materials (i.e., videos, handouts, posters, role plays, activities, etc.), guide the development of the presentations, foster presentation skills, and provide ongoing support and feedback to the Peer Educators.

ABOUT THE PRESENTATIONS

The TERA Peer Educators deliver interactive and educational presentations on the dynamics and prevention of abusive relationships, and the available support services within the community to their peers in a variety of settings within the St. Vrain Valley School District.

The TERA Program offers two different presentations to the community:

  1. Teen Dating Abuse
  2. Teen Dating Abuse Prevention and Skill Building

Both presentations are typically 90 minutes in length with two to four teenage Peer Educators (presenters); ideally at least one female and one male. The presenters knowledge of healthy relationships and dating abuse goes beyond what information is in the standard presentation, therefore the presentation can be easily adapted to fit the audience’s needs and cover topics of interest

 Teen Dating Abuse Presentation

This presentation is designed to fit into 9th grade health class curriculums.  This interactive presentation provides an overview of the topic of teen dating abuse, and encourages students to speak up against dating abuse.

It is the goal of the TERA Program for this presentation to become integrated into the St. Vrain Valley School District’s health curriculum at every high school. If you would like for the TERA Program to present in your classroom, and you are not a 9th grade health teacher, we recommend that you choose the Teen Dating Abuse Prevention and Skill Building presentation to avoid any overlap in information and to reinforce the lesson.

 Presentation Outline:

  1. Healthy versus unhealthy relationships
  2. Definition of dating abuse
  3. Power and control
  4. Forms and methods of abuse
  5. Warning signs of potentially abusive relationships
  6. Cycle of abuse
  7. How to help a friend

 Teen Dating Abuse Prevention and Skill Building Presentation

This presentation is designed for 10th and 11th grade classes. It provides more in depth information on how to identify an abusive relationship and how to safely intervene when a friend is a victim or perpetrator of dating abuse. Students will be able to practice the skills they learn in this highly interactive presentation.

 Presentation Outline:

  1. Definition of dating abuse
  2. Overview of the forms of abuse
  3. Overview of the cycle of abuse
  4. Signs of an abusive relationship
  5. Why people stay in abusive relationships
  6. How to help a friend
  7. How to help your community

 

HOW TO SCHEDULE A TERA PRESENTATION

If you are interested in having the TERA Peer Educators give a presentation in your classroom or at a community event, please contact the Outreach Youth Advocate at Safe Shelter at 303.772.0432 or email TERA{at}safeshelterofstvrain{dot}org.

  • Peer Educators are typically available during the academic school year only
  • At least 2 weeks advanced notice is required to schedule presenters
  • Information required to schedule a presentation: (1) contact information, (2) name of school, (3) audience size, (4) age-range of the audience (or grades), (5) type of class or event (i.e., health class), (6) which presentation you are requesting
  • Because the Peer Educators are students, please keep in mind that they may not be available at all times (i.e., the week of or before final exams)

 

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT TERA
“I really appreciate that you all took the time to come into our classroom and present some of the TERA values to us. We all had a ton of fun…My best friend had been in a seven month long abusive relationship. I could see it but she couldn’t and I had no clue how to handle what she was going through. She finally got out of it and is still somewhat scared. I have taken some things from your presentation to tell her. Thank you so much for coming here.” – Senior, Frederick High School 2010
 
“I’ve received great feedback about the presentations and thanks again for coming to Westview! I really appreciate all your help with coordinating things and please let all the presenters know they did a GREAT job! Thanks again and I look forward to working with you in the future!” – Counselor, Westview Middle School 2011 

For more information on the TERA Program, please visit the TERA site for teens!

Advocates work directly with victims of domestic violence to address all areas of concern. Call 303.772.0432
Your donations make it possible for Safe Shelter to provide protection, intervention and support to individuals affected by domestic abuse.
Act as an advocate against domestic violence: provide support for victims in addition to educating the community.
Safe Shelter provides safety, support and resources to individuals affected by domestic abuse. We promote empowerment through direct services and community education, advocating for the right of every individual to live a life free of intimidation, exploitation and abuse.

Our vision is provide the tools to empower our community to break the cycle of domestic violence. To stay focused on this vision, we are guided by values that define us. Those values include:

  • Treat All with Dignity & Respect.
  • Accomplish Results through Competence and Creativity.
  • Offer Support and Opportunity.
  • Manage Activities with Proper Regard to the Rights of Others.
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