Our staff

MSP’s Domestic Violence Education and Prevention (DVEP) Program staff are passionate, engaging, and knowledgeable youth services professionals who are culturally competent and savvy about issues facing teens/tweens today.  DVEP staff are trained in positive youth development and an array of educational approaches, youth engagement approaches, and curricular content.

The DVEP Program staff specialize in creating and maintaining environments that are safe for youth to engage in discussions of issues that can be sensitive, deeply personal, and uncomfortable to talk about.  To do this, we present information that can be experienced as personal to each student while discussions are more general, so no student is “called out” or made to be an example.  We use finesse to encourage and elicit participation while helping to redirect personal disclosures to a safer, more appropriate setting.

Our approach

Our Healthy Relationships presentations, REAL program, and Peer Discussion Groups are all highly interactive, relying heavily on the input and ideas of the youth we engage, while simultaneously presenting essential information and skill building opportunities.  All DVEP program components introduce elements of healthy relationships, dynamics of dating violence, ways of helping a friend, and how to access available resources.  We introduce skills and concepts that are translatable to their lives both inside and outside of the classroom.  Curricular content for each of these programs is constantly updated to include new resources and approaches and is reviewed and evaluated for efficacy and responsiveness to the teens or tweens being served.

Scheduling Programs

Our free educational programs are provided for schools, treatment & alternative schools, community based organizations, and community groups.  Each educational program has guidelines for group size and number of DVEP staff needed, which have been developed through our experiences serving thousands of youth each year.  To have the most impact, we prefer to work with groups of 5-35; however, effective Peer Discussion Groups require groups of no more than 15, due to the topics and youth served by this program.

Bring DVEP Programs to your school or group and help the teens and tweens of the next generations live abuse-free.  We encourage you to schedule early – our calendar fills up quickly!

What We Offer

  • Healthy Relationships Presentations – 1-, 2-, and 3-day presentations provided to students in middle school and high school.  Our presentations introduce concepts of healthy relationships components (DVEP’s signature “Respect, Equality, and Safety”), teach the warning signs and patterns of dating violence, and discuss ways to help those affected by abuse.
  • Relationships, Empowerment, and Leadership (REAL) Program – REAL is an 8-12 session healthy relationships program for youth ages 11-14. We introduce “Respect, Equality, and Safety”, personal boundaries, communication approaches, conflict in relationships, sexual harassment, the warning signs and patterns of dating abuse, ways to help those affected by abuse, how to recognize helpful adults, and leadership skills.  REAL also provides training and education for parents and the teachers/staff working with the youth.
  • Peer Discussion Groups – Peer Discussion groups are designed to work more closely with youth at a high risk of experiencing dating violence, those identified by their school or other agency staff as having experienced dating abuse before, exposed to significant amounts of violence in their lives, or at higher risk due to developmental or mental health challenges.  DVEP staff engage high school aged youth identified by school or agency staff in deeper and more complex discussions of the topics in DVEP’s healthy relationship presentations in five-session small discussion groups outside of a traditional classroom setting.
  • Love Shouldn’t Hurt – DVEP’s annual one-day conference for high school students and school staff.
  • Individual Counseling for teens who have experienced dating abuse or who have been exposed to intimate partner abuse in their families.
  • Training for school personnel on responding to dating abuse.

Did you know?

  • Nearly 1 in 2 teens in relationships report being controlled, threatened, and pressured to do things they did not want to do by a girlfriend/boyfriend. [1]
  • Nearly half of all tweens in relationships (47%) say they know friends who have been verbally abused (called stupid, worthless, ugly, etc.) by a boyfriend/girlfriend.   And more than a third of tweens in relationships (36%) know friends and peers their age who have been pressured by a boyfriend/girlfriend to do things they didn’t want to do. [2]
  • Working together, we can create environments that support victims, counteract shame and isolation, and work towards preventing and ending dating abuse.  We can support healthy relationships!

For more information on our programs, to make a referral for counseling, and to bring DVEP to your school or organization, contact Brintha Jeyalingam, Director of Community Education and Prevention, at email hidden; JavaScript is required or at (914) 358-0333 ext 107.

[1] Liz Claiborne foundation, Troubled Economy Linked to High Levels of Teen Dating Violence & Abuse Survey, 2009.
[2] Liz Claiborne foundation, Tween/Teen Dating Relationships survey, 2008.