In the United States, violence affects people from all socio-economic, racial, and ethnic groups. With the widespread occurrence of violence in our culture, many youth and even some adults may consider violence as a normal if not inevitable factor of contemporary existence. Violence is a learned behavior, and the pervasive nature of violence and its harmful impact can be avoided in human relationships. This claim entails two equally important points of view: Violent behavior can be unlearned and maintaining nonviolent, healthy relationships can be taught.
The Relationship Literacy Program developed over ten years because of experiences mediating conflicts in inner-city communities, creating and facilitating anger management curricula and violence prevention psycho-educational programs in schools, correctional institutions and treatment facilities. In these varying settings, participants found the Relationship Literacy Program comprehensive in scope, consistent with real life, and applicable to and beyond relationships of family and physical intimacy.
The Relationship Literacy Program teaches the important role of human relationships to develop personal and social identity, the prevention of abuse and violence in relationships, awareness of individual rights and corresponding responsibilities, along with valuable self-management skills, both emotional and behavioral, and concepts, principles, and tools necessary to effect healthier relationships. The program informs participants of the diverse, often overlooked patterns of relationship abuse and violence and ways to prevent them.
To prevent and treat interpersonal violence requires a comprehensive approach sensitive socio-culturally and developmentally appropriate across the life span. The Relationship Literacy Program takes such an approach to impact greater knowledge, attitude, and motivation concerning relationship violence.