Charting the Course


Alexandra House, in partnership with the CDC, launched the Choose Respect Program for children in middle school.

2005… Preventing Dating Violence Alexandra House understood that violence in dating relationships was (and remains) a social issue that faced American youth. Unhealthy relationship behaviors can start early and have been linked to lifelong patterns of violence that can carry over into other relationships. Research studies indicated that 1 in 11 adolescents reported being a victim of physical dating violence. While Alexandra House advocates had for years been providing prevention education in the high schools, there was growing recognition that in order to prevent dating violence from occurring in the first place, we had to reach youth before the cycle ever began. In 2005, Alexandra House piloted the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Choose Respect Campaign in three local middle schools, which targeted youth aged 11–14 with messages about developing healthy, respectful relationships. The ultimate goal was to inspire youth to give and get respect in all their relationships and to help them develop the skills to make healthy, positive life choices. In 2007, Alexandra House was recognized by the CDC as a leading Choose Respect Program in the State of Minnesota and the Youth Services Coordinator, Dawn Rutt, was invited to the CDC headquarters in Atlanta (1 of 20 invited nationwide) to provide input and expertise on the future direction of the program.


1) Choose Respect

poster in Northdale Middle School.

2) Middle school

student participates in Alexandra House’s Choose Respect programming.



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