Project Accomplishments

 Melrose Safe Steps for Teens Project- Accomplishments


2012-2013 School Year:

  1. Formed Coordinated Community Response Task Force which has met monthly throughout duration of project. Leadership Team of seven MAAV and Melrose Public School administrators also meets monthly.
  2. Worked with outside consultants to plan and conduct Needs & Strengths Assessment. Consultants produced Final Report which includes recommendations.
  3. Based on the Needs Assessment, completed logic model & strategic planning, identifying 4 Key Focus Areas for the Project.
  4. Implemented a range of activities as part of Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month (TDVAPM) involving both schools, staff, parents and community members. Activities included a Kick-Off Breakfast, an assembly featuring the family of teen dating abuse victim Yeardley Love, the “Love is… Love isn’t” photo project, with the photos being made into posters and a video, a parent workshop and student presentations to MHS and MVMMS faculty.
  5. Project Director Rebecca Mooney and student leader Zeke Vainer spoke at TDVAPM event at the White House.
  6. Began reviewing sample school policies on teen dating abuse* and crafting our own.
  7. Student Action Board of 19 students met monthly; provided input on project and played active role in TDVAPM activities.

2013-2014 School Year

  1. “Safe Steps for Teens” logo created, with input from Task Force and student leaders.
  2. Cross-section of 50 peer leaders were identified by faculty and nominated for the MVP (Mentors in Violence Prevention) Program from Northeastern University. 47 students completed 20 hours of training over the course of the year, including a day-long training in September to launch the program. Subsequent trainings were held from 12-2 pm on Early Release Days.
  3. Series of events were held as part of TDVAPM, including a Community Coffee House (“Voices Against Violence”), a parent workshop, MVP students leading a presentation with 9th graders, a PSA contest at Melrose High School on the topic of dating abuse, and “kNOw abuse” T-shirts which were distributed to all secondary personnel and worn on 2 Fridays during the month.
  4. MVP peer leaders planned and led 2 presentations in March and April on healthy relationships in all Freshman Seminar classes, allowing them to put their knowledge and skills into practice.
  5. 3 MVP trainings were held throughout the year for all middle and high school coaches- summer, winter and spring. Training was required by the Athletic Director.
  6. The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC), one of the project partners, led a training on responding to sexual assault for all middle and high school counselors, school psychologists and school nurse.
  7. Based on feedback from parents of teens, our parent outreach focused on the issue of teens and technology. Two parent workshops on the issue of technology and abuse were held featuring Sophie Godley, MPH from Boston University and Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.
  8. 3-session Healthy Relationships Program was implemented in all 8th grade Health classes. Program addresses types of abuse, warning signs, cycle of abuse, technology, and how to get help for oneself or a friend. Includes speaker who is a survivor of teen dating abuse.
  9. Student Action Board of 19 students met monthly; provided input on project and played active role in TDVAPM activities.
  10.  Launched new peer leadership group at middle school, led by 8 MVP-trained high school peer leaders. Middle School Guidance Counselor volunteered to be advisor next year.
  11. One hour training on teen dating abuse for Melrose High School faculty was held during faculty meeting in April. Please see outline for more detail.
  12. Final draft of 51-page Policy & Implementation Guide was completed, with input from all major stakeholders. Document is currently being reviewed by the Melrose Public Schools General Counsel.
  13. MVP training for MAAV Board of Directors and invited male leaders being planned for the summer.
  14. Started using Survey Monkey following all trainings and programs in order to better quantify results.
  15. Added novel on teen dating violence (Breathing Underwater) for MHS Summer Reading List.

2014-2015 School Year

  1. Trained 25 school and community counselors on the Expect Respect program during the summer. Implemented of Expect Respect support groups at the middle and high school levels in the fall.
  2. Added “teen dating abuse” to Aspen software program for reporting behaviors.
  3. Continued all prevention programs (Healthy Relationships, Student Action Board, MVP).
  4. Awareness events held in February as part of Teen Dating Violence Awaeness Month, incuding the 2nd Annual Community Coffee House, Voices Against Violence and a T-shirt campaign, “If not you, who?”
  5. Finalized teen dating abuse policy, which was approved by the Office on Violence Against Women and the Melrose School Committee.  Presentations on the policy held with students and staff.
  6. New poster campaign developed, Bystanders Don’t Stand By.
  7. Developed MVP as an elective Wellness class at Melrose High School.
  8. Worked to strengthen Gay-Straight Alliance at Melrose High School.
  9. Continued outreach to parents: parent workshop on MVP and healthy teen relationships.
  10. Information on breaking up safely to all students & parents at mandatory event prior to Prom.
  11. Created infographic to raise awareness about the issue of teen dating abuse, project activities and accomplishments.


*The term “teen dating abuse” is used to encompass teen dating violence, sexual assault and stalking

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