After the unparalleled success of the award-winning film
A Love That Kills, the Speers Society recognized the urgent need
and relevant programming in the area of relationship abuse.
Whenever the film was shown, youth made disclosures 100% of the time
asked for information and support.
As we travelled across Canada
we spoke with hundreds of educators who appealed to us to develop
the instructional guide to enhance
the positive learning opportunities of the film A
Love That Kills. We listened carefully when educators
emphasized that only curriculum-based
programs would be considered in the school climate today and
so we developed CHOICES for Positive Youth
Relationships to meet the provincial
Ministry curriculum guidelines in a variety of subjects.
to base our project on anecdotal information alone, the Speers
Society initiated an arms-length needs assessment,
by in Toronto
who researched 14 pilot schools in 4 provinces across Canada. Summary
Perpetration of dating
violence was frequently reported.
to the empirical data, we solicited feedback from focus groups
of youth and experts in youth issues. They emphasized the
need for a program that raises awareness of warning signs, develops
positive skills and offers support to sustain those positive choices.
They emphasised a need for non gender-specific programming that
broadens the definition of relationship to include friendships and
They asked us for a program that would allow youth the opportunity
to discuss issues about relationships within a safe and caring
Abuse exacts a high price in pain and suffering, forfeited
opportunities and lives lost due to violence. We owe all our youth
to learn safe and effective relationship skills that they can
transport into adult relationships, challenging work situations,