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Step 1: School Policy Kit Step 2: Safe Dates Step 3: Ending Violence Step 4: Speak.Act.Change
Speak.Act.Change Youth Advocacy Kit

Step 4: Activate Student Leaders in Addressing the Issue

The Speak.Act.Change Youth Advocacy Kit is a service-learning, youth activism program designed to complement any basic dating violence education curriculum. The program gives students the tools to protect themselves and their peers from dating violence.


Speak.Act.Change uses youth activism, service-learning, and peer leadership so teens can:
  • Raise awareness about dating violence on campus and in the community.
  • Develop the next generation of anti-violence advocates.
  • Learn about leadership and other positive youth development skills.

This kit-based initiative challenges youth to create communities free from domestic and dating violence. Youth participate in:

  • Letter-writing campaigns
  • Art-driven activism
  • Journalistic assignments
  • Legislative and school-based advocacy

Promotes Youth Development

Speak.Act.Change engages, educates and empowers youth to become advocates for healthy relationships and promotes positive youth development. The benefits of this type of service-learning are extensive:

  • Youth find their voice through taking ownership of a project. They take control of their own learning, develop leadership skills and become valuable, decision-making members of their communities.
  • Participants apply their new skills and knowledge to improving their school's climate.
  • By empowering a core group of student advocates, school administrators have a "sounding board" to address important issues affecting the student body.
  • Youth who participate in service-learning programs achieve more academically, becoming more likely to complete their high school education and to attend college.

Complementary Curriculum

Before launching any violence prevention activism project, it is important to make sure all participants are well versed on the subject matter being addressed. Speak.Act.Change is designed to complement the  Ending Violence curriculum. If Ending Violence is not available, please use another dating violence prevention curriculum before participating this program.

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Ten sessions

Speak.Act.Change is divided into 10 sessions that can be implemented in classes of 45-90 minutes in length. Topics include:

  • understanding how the legal system works
  • analyzing of pop culture's role in promoting abuse and unhealthy relationships
  • becoming an advocate
  • developing skills as a bystander to help a friend whenever needed.

After group discussions, participating youth are guided through engaging activities that utilize their talents and creative expression to enhance their voice to create positive change.

Each session concludes with students privately reflecting on the "Now what? So what?" aspect of service-learning. The program concludes with youth developing and implementing a large-scale awareness project within their school or community. 

Adults Should Be Present

Speak.Act.Change was created for teens, ages 13 and up. They can follow the program's instructions in small teams or large groups. While this is designed to be a peer-led program, there is potential for youth to reveal personal details about their lives due to the sensitive nature of the topic. Therefore, we highly recommend an adult lead the discussion portion of the program and be present during the implementation of major group activities.

© 2016 Hazelden Foundation