Healthy Roots

Free healthy relationship & dating violence curriculum for young people.

What Is Healthy Roots?

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YWCA Spokane facilitates a free and customizable educational series called Healthy Roots for young people that is designed to promote healthy relationships and reduce teen dating violence in Spokane. We utilize a mix of evidence-based activities, videos, and inquiry to foster honest and open conversations and learning in an empowered environment. We talk about identity, boundaries, healthy and unhealthy behaviors, how to support a loved one, and how to identify an abusive relationship.

Contact us

Our team is passionate about engaging, educating, and empowering young people to build futures free from dating violence. If you would like to explore a partnership with us and bring Healthy Roots to your location, please contact our Prevention Team by calling 509-370-9024 or emailing us at We can conduct this series at a location of your choosing.

Why is THIS WORK Important?

As shared by, “dating violence is more common than you may think, especially among teens and young adults: 1 in 3 U.S. teens will experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse from someone they’re in a relationship with before they become adults. And nearly half (43%) of U.S. college women report experiencing violent or abusive dating behaviors.”

You likely know and/or care about a young person who is or will be impacted by an abusive relationship.

Engaging in constructive conversations about what healthy relationships are supposed to look like and receiving guidance on how to identify unhealthy behaviors can make a tremendous difference in a young person’s life and help to set them up with a healthier future. It can also normalize conversations about relationship dynamics so youth feel more comfortable to reach out for help or support peers who they are concerned may be in an abusive relationship.

What’s Included?

This series can be adapted and tailored to your group’s needs and is designed to be facilitated in a closed setting for small groups (5) up to large groups (30). Our facilitators do not provide sex education, one-on-one counseling, and they do not promote or push dating. They simply offer skills to foster healthy relationships while dating or with a partner, friend, or family member. This curriculum and similar programs and activities have been successful in the past at the following groups and organizations.

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Available Topics:
  • Boundaries
  • Caring relationships
  • Cycles of abuse
  • Dating abuse
  • Gender roles
  • Gender violence
  • Healthy conflict resolution
  • Healthy relationship characteristics
  • Helping a loved one
  • Power and control wheels
  • Respect and consent
  • Relationship Spectrum
  • Safety planning
  • Self-identity
  • Setting Boundaries
  • Why people abuse
  • Why people stay

What Guides Our Work?

This series is informed by the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s (WSCADV) approach to prevention efforts which calls for the following 4 dimensions:

  • Address root causes of violence: by discussing the connections between violence, racism, homophobia, and poverty.
  • Shift culture: by promoting the expectation that all people will be treated with respect in their relationships and challenging our communities to reject all types of violence.
  • Build skills: that help people learn how to resolve their differences in respectful and non-controlling ways and to speak up if they see something that’s not ok and show them how to take action.
  • Promote healthy relationships: by having conversations about what healthy relationships look and feel like.

Past Partners

  • Rogers Mini Group – At Rogers High School, the Prevention Team facilitated a mini group with female students who had been identified by staff and counselors. Over a three week span, the mini group explored a variety of topics related to healthy relationships.
  • The Bridge-Healthy Relationships 101 – The Bridge is a transitional housing center for 18 to 24-year-olds who may have previously been homeless. There, the Prevention Team taught bi-weekly healthy relationships group where they focused on the definition of intimate partner domestic violence, red flags to be aware of, what we should look for in a partner, and how to build healthy relationships.
  • ECEAP Parents – ECEAP is a free comprehensive preschool program for high needs three and four year old children from families living at or below 110% of the Federal Poverty Level. The Prevention Team met with parents of ECEAP students once a month during a three month period of time to discuss boundaries and consent, gender stereotypes, and healthy relationships. These discussions prepared parents to address these topics and empower their toddlers in these areas, as appropriate. The groups were facilitated at the Downtown, Medical Lake, and West Plains ECEAP locations.
  • Crosswalk – At Crosswalk, a shelter for homeless and runaway youth, our Youth Advocate connected with kids about healthy relationships during lunch on Tuesdays. There, our Youth Advocate also taught sessions on emotional self-care in conjunction with Crosswalk’s Life Skills Class.
  • Alexandria House – Alexandria House is a transitional living facility for young moms ages 14-24. The Prevention Team connected with these young moms in bi-weekly meetings where they discussed healthy relationships and all that entails.
  • GraceSon Housing Foundation – GraceSon is a transitional living facility for teen moms between the ages of 14-18 years old. The Prevention Team connected with these young moms in bi-weekly meetings where they discussed healthy relationships and all that entails.

Other Opportunities