Health Education & Promotion

Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention

Healthy & Safe Relationship Education

Everyone deserves healthy and safe relationships! A healthy and safe relationship is one where both partners treat each other with respect and dignity, and are supportive of each other’s individuality and boundaries. Communication about expectations and effective conflict resolution are very important features of healthy relationships.

Why is this a focus of the Kent County Health Department (KCHD)?

Relationship and sexual violence are more common than most people are aware of and are considered serious public health problems. Decades of research have shown that children who experience abuse and violence, or are witness to violence in their family, can have harmful and life-long physical, emotional, and mental health consequences. Teens and young adults who experience relationship abuse, or are abusive to others in their early relationships, are more at risk for becoming a future victim or perpetrator of abuse in their later relationships.

How is KCHD addressing this issue?

Relationship and sexual violence is preventable. KCHD offers schools and youth-serving organizations resources and programs to help young people build healthy relationships and recognize when relationships are abusive. KCHD also offers child sexual abuse prevention education and teen relationship abuse prevention education for parents and people who work with children and teens.

Healthy and Safe Relationship Education initiatives offered by KCHD:

Sexual Assault Prevention Action Team (SAPAT)

SAPAT is a coalition consisting of organizations, businesses and interested individuals who work to collaborate, educate, and create holistic change to eliminate sexual violence in Kent County.  SAPAT meets on the second Wednesday of each month from 3:30-5 PM. All are welcome. Please check out our website at for more information.

Each April, SAPAT distributes a newsletter to the community for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).

Safe Dates and Love Notes

Safe Dates and Love Notes are evidence-based curricula designed to reduce the risk that teens and young adults will become either victims or perpetrators of relationship and sexual violence. Programs are free for schools and organizations that serve youth.

Young Leaders Against Violence (YLAV) Youth CouncilYLAV Logo

YLAV is a group of high school and college students that organizes community and school events to raise awareness about the impact of violence and increase skills to prevent it. Being a part of YLAV provides the opportunity to be a leader and make a difference. Those interested in joining can apply online at Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Group meets during the school year.

For more information contact:

For more information about any these programs, contact:
Aaron Toffoli | | (616) 632-7295

Fact Sheets