The KNOW MORE Program

Educating teens about unhealthy and healthy relationships by utilizing drama, music, statistics, and real life situations.

The Problem

In a single year, nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience teen dating violence. Forms of abuse include physical, psychological, cyber, stalking, verbal, and sexual coercion. Abusive relationships are more prevalent in adolescence and young adulthood. Among adult survivors of rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner, 22% of women and 14% of men first experienced some form of relationship violence between the ages of 11 to 17. Unhealthy relationships have severe short- and long-term consequences on youth, including depression, anxiety, use of drugs and alcohol, bullying, thoughts of suicide, and more likely to perpetrate and/or experience abuse in adulthood.

Teens who have been abused hesitate to seek help because they are either unaware that they are being abused or do not know where they can get help. Teens can feel uncomfortable talking to teachers or parents about what they are experiencing. We know that students will first reach out to their peers for help. Knowing this, our KNOW MORE program staff strive to provide students with education, knowledge, and tools necessary to support and empower each other.

The Solution

Our KNOW MORE program has operated in select Fresno County high schools for 20 years. The goal of this program is to educate youth on red flags of unhealthy relationships and the long-lasting effects of abuse in teen relationships through a peer-to-peer led prevention model. The program was created as a forum for teens to speak to their peers and utilize drama, music, real-life situations and staggering statistics of abuse in teen relationships to demonstrate the seriousness of domestic violence. Trained student peer educators present educational skits to their peers and plan on-campus campaigns and pledges to engage students. Every year, the KNOW MORE program trains more than 100 peer educators, presents more than 120 educational skits, and reaches nearly 5,000 students. By the end of the school year, students have an increased knowledge and awareness of abuse, how to best support each other, and who to turn to for help at school and in the community.

A testimonial from a high school junior who participated in KNOW MORE: “Being in KNOW MORE has changed my life tremendously. I grew up in a domestic violence home and it greatly affected me and my relationships with people. KNOW MORE was my out. It was my way of breaking the cycle. KNOW MORE has taught me a lot about what a healthy and unhealthy relationship look like. Without this program, I am positive that I would have become a victim or abuser.”

Planned Use Of Funds

Funds will be used to support the KNOW MORE student peer educators efforts to engage and support their peers. In particular, funds will be used to purchase necessary training materials and program supplies.

Stage of Development

  • Early Stage
  • Established Prototype
  • Scaling
  • Other

Organization to Receive Funds

Marjaree Mason Center

This project was nominated by: