About Us

We’re empowering teens to stop abuse before it starts.

What is adolescent relationship abuse?

Adolescent relationship abuse (ARA) is a pattern of behaviors used to get and maintain power and control. Left unchecked, these behaviors often continue into adulthood. Intimate partner violence is a significant public health problem that starts young.

  • Violent behavior often begins between 12 and 18 years of age.1
  • 1 in 10 high schoolers will be purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by an intimate partner.1
  • Young women aged 16 to 24 are most at risk, experiencing nearly 3X the average rate of intimate partner violence.1
  • One in four teens is harassed or abused through technology.2
  • Half of youth who have been victims of both rape and dating violence attempt suicide.1
  • Of women who have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV), 99% report experiencing financial abuse.3

The key to preventing this abuse is focusing on education, skill-building, and creating safe environments for youth.

That’s where REAL Relationships comes in.

REAL Relationships

REAL Relationships believes that everyone deserves to have healthy and safe relationships. Our approach is multifaceted but centers around the creation of protective social environments for teens and adolescents. Promising evidence shows that improving school climate and culture is likely to reduce rates of teen dating violence. 

Interactive Learning Modules

REAL Relationships utilizes two evidence-based programs, Hanging Out or Hooking up and Shifting Boundaries (with adaptations to fit the local school districts).

Hanging Out or Hooking Up demonstrates how important healthy relationships are to a student’s overall health and wellbeing. Students are provided information about this important link, screened for unhealthy relationships, and connected with local services if needed.

Shifting Boundaries collects student provided data about the safety of their school through a technique called ‘hot spot mapping’. Administrators and teachers, with support from REAL Relationships staff, are tasked with using that data to improve the overall school climate. Both programs also seek to improve youth knowledge and skills around having healthy relationships, recognizing unhealthy ones, and how to help a friend.

Our personalized approach

REAL Relationships is available as in-person presentations and programming as well as a virtual, on-demand series. We cover a variety of topics including healthy and unhealthy relationships, financial literacy, cultural norms, and consent. High schools and other youth-serving organizations can use the online series on their own and get additional support through regular check-ins, supplemental program materials, and facilitation support.

Peoples Place Delaware logo

REAL Relationships is a program of Turning Point at People’s Place. People’s Place is a 501c3 nonprofit serving Delaware’s communities since 1972. The REAL Relationships program is made possible through funding from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Center for Disease Control logo

Our Partners

Child Inc Delaware logo
Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence DCADV logo
Domestic Violence Coordinating Council logo
Safe and Respectful teen dating logo

Smyrna High School

Smyrna, Delaware

“Working with the Delta project through Turning Point at People’s Place has been a great experience for our relatively new Gay-Straight Alliance at Smyrna High School. The program coordinators tailored materials and information to our population and fostered a safe and open environment for the students to share their experiences.” – Smyrna Open Minds Advisers

Woodbridge High School

Greenwood, Delaware

“The REAL Relationships team is awesome to work with and our students enjoyed and learned a lot by having them come in to do their presentation! Having them come into our health classes last school year was a great experience. They did a presentation on Healthy Relationships and our students were engaged throughout. We would highly recommend having their programs presented to your classes.” – Mr. Perry & Mr. Moyer, Health and Physical Education Instructors

Dover High School

Dover, Delaware

“People’s Place and the REAL Relationships staff have been absolutely fabulous to work with! Their positive attitudes and their hearts for teens is obvious. People’s Place is always ready to do anything they can to help teens! They are the best!” -DHS Wellness Center Staff

Delaware Adolescent Program, Inc.

Georgetown, Delaware

“Thank you so much for collaborating with dapi inc. for our group sessions throughout this past year. The activities were engaging and informative! The girls were receptive and participated very well. our girls always had good things to say! They actually looked forward to our group sessions and it was very touching to see them so engaged and learning about themselves so well!” -Beth W., Maternal Health and Child Development Educator for DAPI

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