Need: Prevention and education programs for schools to reduce gender and relationship violence among teenagers.
Intervention: Jana's Campaign offers school-based trainings, presentations, projects, and consultations through Love Doesn't Hurt: Teen Gender Violence and Prevention Program.
Results: So far, 648 middle and high schools and more than 86,280 students in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, and Oklahoma have benefited from the program.
Teen dating violence has been
identified by the Centers for Disease and Control as a
public health problem and can be in the form of
physical, psychological, or sexual actions. Adolescents
who experience violence in dating have a higher
probability of adverse developments later in life,
such as eating disorders, isolation, attempts of suicide,
child maltreatment, smoking, or alcohol and drug abuse.
Campaign is a national education and prevention
organization with the single mission of reducing gender
and relationship violence. The program was founded by
doctors Christie and Curt Brungardt in response to their
daughter's murder in 2008 – an act of domestic violence
by an ex-boyfriend. Jana
Mackey was a social and women's activist who worked
to reduce domestic and sexual violence against women.
Jana's Campaign focuses their efforts in schools
educating to prevent acts like this from taking place.
One of the larger efforts of Jana's Campaign is to
educate middle and high school students in healthy
relationships through their Love
Doesn't Hurt: Teen Gender Violence Prevention
Program. Love Doesn't Hurt uses nationally-known,
evidence-based tools, including gender violence
prevention curriculum and co-curricular activities. The
program has led initiatives in 82 rural counties in
Kansas, 51 rural counties in Nebraska, and 12 rural
counties in Colorado.
This video about Jana's Campaign initiatives explains
more about its beginnings and current work:
The following are programs, services, and curriculum that
Love Doesn't Hurt provides for schools to address gender
and relationship violence. Jana's Campaign staff work
with each school to tailor these resources to create an
individualized plan that best meets the school's and
Customized presentations at large school assemblies, in
a classroom setting, or for small groups.
Parent Presentations – Bring to light
the prevalence of gender and relationship violence
among teens and trains parents to identify red flags of
unhealthy dating behavior.
Gender-Specific Presentations – The
"Her Toolkit" educates young women about issues like
body image, self-confidence, and digital respect.
"Man2Man" addresses the male role in reducing gender
and relationship violence.
Coaching Boys Into Men – A
national program that trains athletic coaches to teach
their athletes how to build healthy relationships and
prevent violence against women.
Safe Date Classroom Curriculum –
An evidence-based, interactive curriculum that includes
skits, poster contests, and questionnaires that educate
teens about healthy relationships. Teachers,
counselors, social workers, and advocates are trained
by Jana's Campaign staff to infuse curriculum.
Bystander Intervention Training –
Trains students to identify potentially dangerous
situations and effective techniques for intervening.
Faculty/Staff Trainings & In-service
Workshops – Training for faculty, staff,
administrators, and districts on how to best meet the
needs of their students regarding gender and
As Leaders – Empowers female-identified
athletes to actively engage in creating a culture of
safety and respect by ending sexual violence and
building healthy relationships.
Policy Review & Revisions – Jana's
Campaign guides schools through a revision process of
their own policies to reflect Title IX requirements for
including policies on gender violence.
Counselor Toolkit – Resources combined and
available to school counselors on how to run an
effective prevention program. The toolkit also breaks
down gender/dating violence and sexual assault laws by
state or county. It also provides sample school
policies and other resources.
Community/School Service Projects –
Mini-grants are awarded to schools to support
students that initiate gender-based and teen dating
violence awareness service projects. Past projects
include plays, art exhibits, and public service
Before presentations, Jana's Campaign surveys the
students present using the
Survey of Audience Icebreaker. Of the students
surveyed during presentations in Kansas, Nebraska, and
89% stated that teen dating violence is a problem
33% had partners who had threatened suicide after a
16% had been threatened in some way by a partner
52% stated they knew someone who had sent, received
or asked for inappropriate pictures.
Other indicators include actions
of isolation, control, and
physical abuse. Characteristics include extreme jealousy, possessiveness,
and extremely argumentative.
Jana's Campaign successes from 2013 to the present:
10 states impacted through a variety of program
options. Due to current grant funding, Jana's Campaign
work has been focused in Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska
648 middle and high schools impacted
82,280 students impacted
497 teachers, counselors, social workers, advocates
trained using the Safe Dates curriculum
119 mini-grants awarded
Jana's Campaign also helps educate medical providers. In
2016, they conducted a webinar entitled "Prevention and
Response to Teen Dating Violence: The Role of the Health
Care Professional" for Kansas University Medical Center
pediatricians and staff.
Testimonies from participating schools show the
difference the Love Doesn't Hurt initiatives are making
on a personal level:
"This story has helped me a lot, I actually stopped
what I was doing and learned that guys can hurt my
life. I'm so glad Jana's parents came to my school and
talked about this. It helped me a whole bunch and I
want to thank her for saving my life." – High
"This is a great and sadly relate-able topic for
most students. Having a presenter come in and support
the topic is really great. The red flag video that you
show is amazing! I love that the situation involves a
student who is bilingual because it reaches a wider
audience. I think more students will be able come
forward to help their friends and I think that it will
help some students be able to identify unhealthy
behaviors that their partners (or they) exhibit. This
is all great stuff and invaluable for our
students!" – FCCLA Advisor
"Thanks so much for reaching out and providing my
students with this incredible learning opportunity. As
a teacher, I feel like I can tell them something until
I am blue in the face, but then someone else says the
same thing and a light bulb goes on for the student. I
don't care how it happens, but I wanted them to learn
about the warning signs, so hopefully they don't find
themselves in a similar situation to Jana's. Thanks
again for everything!" – FACS Teacher
"I just want you to know you two are definitely
kicking up the dirt so to speak….we have had an influx
of high school girls come in….just wanted you to know
you're making a difference.Jana
would be proud!" – Family Crisis Services
"I think the students will be more likely to stand up for someone who is speaking negatively about a classmate. As for our teachers, counselors and admin, it gave us a shot in the arm because the messages we are trying to send were reinforced by these presentations." – Junior/Senior High Principal
"We really enjoyed having you here. I have already had a number of students talk with me about the impact your presentation had on them, red flags they see in their own relationships, and what really resonated with them. Thanks again for your time, sharing Jana's story, and helping our students learn about healthy relationships!" –
Awards and Recognition:
Received the Community Partnership Award from the
Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Teachers of Nebraska
Kansas Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer
Award of Merit winner in 2017
Kansas Attorney General State Champions for Victims Rights awarded in 2011 to doctors Curt and Christie Brungardt
Soroptimist International Ruby Award, South Central Region
award given to Christie Brungardt, 2010-2011
Soroptimists International of Hays, Kansas
Making a Difference for Women Award given to
Christie Brungardt, 2009-2009
DomesticShelter.org / Theresa's Fund Purple Ribbon Award Winner – Outstanding National Organization, 2021
DomesticShelter.org / Theresa's Fund Purple Ribbon Award Winner – Outstanding Youth Initiative of the Year, 2021
DomesticShelter.org / Theresa's Fund Purple Ribbon Award Winner – Lifetime Achievement Award for Christie Brungardt, 2022
There is currently a general lack of standardization
in terminology and definitions of terms surrounding
intimate partner violence, dating abuse, adolescent
relationship abuse, and sexual misconduct. Defining these
terms for appropriate audiences can be a moving target.
Jana's Campaign often faces disbelief or denial from
school administrators that gender and relationship
violence does exist in their schools or districts.
Through a Youth Advisory Council, Jana's Campaign works
with students who identify the need for prevention
efforts in their schools.
As with any new organization, it took time for Jana's
Campaign to gain rapport with area schools. By partnering
with school-based programs and the Kansas State
Department of Education, Jana's Campaign has gained trust
and influence in school districts in the tri-state area.
At their start, Jana's Campaign relied on word of
mouth and rarely used marketing tools to promote Love
Doesn't Hurt initiatives. The program now works to
connect local domestic violence agencies with local
schools. Jana's Campaign provides contact information for
local shelters at each presentation and invites advocates
to co-present. These actions have led to support from
many local agencies.
Working in rural areas, Jana's Campaign found that
the smaller the school district, the more uncommon it was
for students to reach out for help. Jana's Campaign
invites counselors to be present to meet with students
following the presentation.
Being an outside organization, Love Doesn't Hurt
content is usually censored by the school prior to
presentations. Sometimes, they are asked to remove
certain topics and information. To help them prepare
ahead of time, Jana's Campaign sends out a questionnaire
2 to 3 weeks in advance. These include topics the
administrators can choose from and their desired goals
for the presentation. They also inquire if students have
been directly affected by domestic or intimate partner
violence in order to have an added measure of sensitivity
Love Doesn't Hurt resources are designed and taught
in a way that can be easily replicated in other schools.
Partnering with established school groups like FACS,
FCCLA, HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America), and
DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) makes it
easier to gain interest and support from within the
Each program and training's content can be easily
adapted into school subjects and ongoing classroom
In Kansas, Colorado, and
Nebraska, there is no financial obligation required of
schools or teachers to acquire the Safe Dates curriculum.
This can be another incentive for schools, especially
rural ones, to partner with Jana's Campaign.
Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information
about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The
programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural
community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s
needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep
in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.