Respectful Relationships Program

Respectful Relationships (R+R) is a National and Provincial award winning schools-based primary violence prevention program for youth, developed by SWOVA.

Respectful Relationships Video


CWF Blog

How SWOVA is Helping BC Teens Develop Respectful Relationship Skills


Internet Safety

Workshops for grade 11 and  12 cover the very topical and important subject of internet safety.   This curricula was developed by SWOVA in response to a need expressed by youth, as well as in recognition of the exploitation and violence many Canadian youth experience in online communication.  These new workshops were created to answer the question, What do healthy and respectful relationships look like in the online world? Netiquette, online pornography, sexting and cyber-bullying are among the topics that the workshops cover.  A Resource Guide for Parent’s on Internet Safety was also developed and is available here – Parent’s Guide

Respectful Relationships “R+R” – see below for info on R+R Re-design being done in 2018


Almost a decade of research and development about how to stop abuse, through relationship education with youth went into creating the Respectful Relationships (R+R) Program.  Our model is one of partnerships between men and women, youth and adults, and schools and community members. Using trained adult and youth facilitators and interactive teaching and learning techniques, the  R+R curriculum is delivered to students through a series of 12 workshops for each year, in grades 7, 8, 9 and 10.  The workshops address bullying, sexism, racism, and homophobia, with a focus on the development of healthy, non-violent relationships among adolescent boys and girls.

In addition to the R+R curriculum , SWOVA has also developed an R+R Facilitator’s training program and E-Learning training, an Adult Facilitator Guide, a Youth Team Training Guide, and a Project Coordinator’s Guide.

The R+R curriculum targets students aged 12-18 because this is the time in their lives when youth are:

* Passionately involved in the development of peer and dating relationships;
* Actively establishing their autonomy;
* Exploring gender issues and identity;
* Beginning to date;
* Laying down patterns for adult partner relations;
* Vulnerable to influences of media and peer pressure;

The following is a recommendation from a Statistics Canada report on violence against women that supports the type of education that R+R provides:

“These data suggest that preventative educational programs aimed at young boys and girls are warranted to reduce violence. Attention is also needed in the formative relationship-building years of adolescence to teach development of healthy relationships, awareness of personal safety, and the availability of supports and services.”
-Measuring Violence Against Women – Statistical Trends 2006 – Statistics Canada
The Goals of the R+R Program are to:

* Reduce the incidence of relationship violence in the lives of youth;
* Help youth develop the skills and attitudes needed for healthy and respectful relationships with peers and intimate partners;
* Foster self-respect, critical thinking, and positive self-image;
* Create schools and communities where teens and adults know how to build relationships based on equality, respect and mutual support;
* Develop the capacity for tolerance and consideration toward all members of the world community.

Key Learning Objectives of R+R  are:

* Developing self worth and respect;
* Setting personal boundaries;
* Dealing with difficult feelings;
* Learning assertive communication skills;
* Dealing with peer pressure;
* Recognizing the signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships;
* Understanding the relationship between power and violence;
* Balancing rights and responsibilities.

See how R+R meets the Ministry of Education’s Learning Objectives.

Key Factors in Our Success:

* A Partnership with schools, communities, adults and youth, women and men;
* The dynamism of the Youth Team;
* Our work is based upon solid research and evaluation;
* Capacity building in diverse communities through facilitator’s training, workshops, and mentoring.

R+R Re-design 2018

SWOVA’s Respectful Relationships re-design is in the final stage of a two year community consultation process between SWOVA and community partners including youth, parents, teachers, SWOVA staff, SD #64 administration, staff and trustees.

A re-design of the Respectful Relationships Program was seeded 2 years ago in the fall of 2015 when SWOVA and SD #64 began conversations about the Respectful Relationships Program. Both parents and youth expressed appreciation for the youth violence prevention workshops while also asking for SWOVA to explore a redesign of the model and curricula content to ensure more active and current learning techniques that focused on increasing protective factors in youth.

Parents also expressed their desire to know more about the contents of the program and be included in the delivery model so that parent/program engagement, communication and transparency could be increased to strengthen the overall impact of the community-based partnership.

The RR Redesign Process will include writing of new modules for the students in Grades 6 through 8 with a youth team component.

“Teen Healthy Relationships programs can help by building young people’s skills and competencies to choose nonviolent, safe behaviors; foster safe, stable, nurturing relationships between young people and caring adults in their community; develop and implement school-wide activities and policies to foster social connectedness and a positive social environment; and change societal norms about the acceptability of violence and willingness to intervene.” (CDC, 2014)
Read more about the R+R Youth Team here
Read more about the R+R Facilitators here
Read more about the Facilitator Training here
If you have a desire to bring Primary Violence Prevention education to your community, please see our On-Line Facilitator Training Program


2014/15 R+R Evaluation Report

2013/14 R+R Evaluation Report

2012/13 R+R Evaluation Report

2011/12 R+R Program Report

2011/12 R+R Evaluation Report

Download the R+R Program Power Point Presentation


This program has been supported with grants from:

BC Gaming, First West/Island Savings, SD#64, and Salt Spring Island Foundation