Peer Education and Leadership in Dating Violence Prevention: Strengths and Challenges
Peer education is thought by many to be a "cutting edge" approach to youth dating violence and sexual assault prevention, say these authors. It makes sense that adolescents, who are often in tune with adolescent culture, can reach other adolescents successfully and lend meaningful direction and leadership to programs that address their own communities. In this article, the authors report ideas from 52 respected programs in the United States about current developments in peer education and leadership. The interviewees' comments often were consistent with the literature in suggesting that peer leadership is empowering, engages attention, and offers role models for youth. They also pointed out that participation in peer education or peer leadership can be rewarding and educational for the peer leaders. The authors conclude that programs need sufficient resources to conduct peer education, provide training, and support youth who are involved in youth leadership, and to evaluate their programs. Modified Author Abstract.