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Jana's Campaign: Secondary Education Prevention Programming

Summary 
  • Need: To reduce teen dating violence in middle schools, high schools, and youth organizations by promoting healthy relationship behaviors and fostering a culture of respect among adolescents.
  • Intervention: Jana's Campaign offers prevention programs, including curricular and co-curricular activities, to highlight the 'red flags' and underlying causes of unhealthy dating relationships.
  • Results: Since 2013, 661 middle and high schools and more than 92,673 students in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Oregon, Montana, and Washington State have benefited from these programs.

Description

Jana's Campaign: Love Doesn't Hurt According to the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), teen dating violence (TDV) is widespread among U.S. adolescents. Research points to the importance of starting prevention efforts early, before violence begins. In addition, prevention strategies work best when they operate across levels of the social-ecological model, addressing the risks and protective factors of individuals, their peers and families, and their physical and social environments.

Jana's Campaign is a national education and violence prevention organization with the single mission of reducing gender and relationship violence. The organization was founded by doctors Christie and Curt Brungardt in response to their daughter Jana's murder in 2008 – an act of domestic violence perpetrated by an ex-boyfriend. Jana Mackey was a social and women's activist who worked to reduce domestic and sexual violence against women. In honor of Jana and other victims and survivors of gender and relationship violence, Jana's Campaign delivers educational programs that prevent domestic and dating violence, sexual violence, and stalking.

Jana Mackey in D.C.
Jana (center) was a social and women's activist who worked to reduce domestic and sexual violence against women. In 2004, she organized a Kansas delegation of women to march for women's rights in Washington D.C.

One of the larger efforts of Jana's Campaign is to educate middle and high school students about healthy and unhealthy relationships through their Secondary Education Prevention Programming. The programs utilize evidence-based tools, including gender violence prevention curriculum and co-curricular activities. The programs have impacted 85 rural counties in Kansas, 51 rural counties in Nebraska, and 12 rural counties in Colorado.

Jana's Campaign has partnered with FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) and FACS (Family and Consumer Sciences) programs, the Kansas State Board of Education, and the Nebraska State Board of Education to implement their prevention efforts in area schools. They have also partnered with students involved in DECA, HOSA, Kansas Association for Youth (KAY), and JAG programs.

Jana's Campaign has received funds from the following organizations for their Secondary Education Prevention Programming:

This video about Jana's Campaign initiatives explains more about its beginnings and current work:

Services offered

The following are programs, services, and curricula that Jana's Campaign provides for middle and high schools to address gender and relationship violence. Jana's Campaign Prevention Educators work with each school to tailor their programs to create an individualized teen gender violence prevention plan that best meets each school's and students' needs. A comprehensive and coordinated approach is the best approach to stopping gender and relationship violence before it starts. Whether presenting to 20 students or 2,000 students, Jana's Campaign delivers a message that is engaging, empowering, and impactful.

Presentations

  • School Assemblies and Classroom Presentations – customized presentations at large school assemblies, in a classroom setting, or for small groups that share the story of Jana's life and the story of Jana's death, common warning signs or “red flags” of unhealthy relationships, healthy relationship behaviors, how to help a friend who is experiencing violence in their relationship, and information on local resources.
  • Parent Presentations – designed to encourage discussion about adolescent relationships, negative peer pressure, how to talk to teens about healthy and unhealthy relationships, and the implications of digital technology. These presentations bring to light the prevalence of gender and relationship violence among teens and inform parents on how to identify red flags of unhealthy dating behavior.
  • Gender-Specific Presentations – two different presentation options that include "Her Toolkit" and “Man2Man.” The “Her Toolkit” presentation educates young women about issues such as body image, self-confidence, self-esteem, media portrayal and digital respect. "Man2Man" addresses the role all men can and should play in reducing gender and relationship violence.
Presentation - Jana's Campaign: Love Doesn't Hurt
Dr. Curt Brungardt presents a Man2Man talk at Great Bend Middle School in rural Kansas, 2017.

Curriculum/Training

  • Coaching Boys Into Men – an evidence-based prevention program that trains and motivates high school coaches to teach their young male athletes healthy relationship skills and that violence never equals strength. CBIM trains athletic coaches to use their influence to help male student-athletes play a role in gender and relationship violence prevention. This specialized curriculum is designed to be used throughout the sports season.
  • Safe Date Classroom Curriculum – a comprehensive evidence-based program designed to stop and prevent teen dating violence. Jana's Campaign provides school personnel with free access to the updated Safe Dates curriculum, and training on how to effectively integrate the curriculum into existing health, social science, family and consumer science, and other courses.
  • Bystander Intervention Training – Jana's Campaign utilizes the Mentors in Violence Prevention curriculum developed by MVP Strategies. This evidence-based training teaches young people how to immediately and effectively intervene when they believe unhealthy behaviors are occurring. This training helps students to identify potentially dangerous situations and provides safe, practical, and effective intervention techniques.
  • Faculty/Staff Trainings & In-service Workshops – Jana's Campaign provides faculty/staff training and in-service workshops on a number of topics. Whether geared toward faculty, staff, administrators, or entire school districts, their specialized trainings are created to specifically meet the needs of the school and their students.
  • Athletes As Leaders – a program for high school athletes on girls' sports teams. The program aims to empower youth to take an active role in challenging stereotypes, promoting healthy relationships, and creating a safe and welcoming community for all. AAL is based on research and best practices in the field of gender-based violence prevention. Athletes are encouraged to be leaders in changing peer norms and school climate to a culture of safety and respect.

Consultations

  • Policy Review & Revisions – Public primary and secondary schools are included in Title IX regulations, which mandate equal opportunities for every student who attends a school that receives federal funds - whether that be in sports or in the classroom. This law is equally relevant for victims of gender-based violence. Jana's Campaign helps schools review and revise policies surrounding these issues. They incorporate best practices to ensure that schools have strong policies in place to both prevent and respond to gender and relationship violence.
FCCLA Howells-Dodge Chapter competitors
Members of the Howells-Dodge Chapter qualified for the 2019 FCCLA Nebraska State competition with their Mini-Grant project, then advanced to the FCCLA Nationals and won the National Stop the Violence award for their work.

Projects

FCCLA Champs - Jana's Campaign: Love Doesn't Hurt
Two FCCLA students from Wabaunsee High School qualified for the 2016 FCCLA Kansas State competition with their project and advanced to FCCLA Nationals. Later that year, they won the top Stop the Violence award for their work.
  • Counselor Toolkit – Jana's Campaign offers a comprehensive toolkit geared specifically toward school counselors, psychologists, and social workers. This free online toolkit offers training, resources, and materials to give these professionals the expertise they need to prevent and respond to gender and relationship violence in their schools.
  • Service Projects and Mini-Grants – Jana's Campaign's awards $100 mini-grants to support service projects that help students realize they have the power to make a difference. Whether it's putting on a play, hosting an art exhibition, or creating a PSA, these co-curricular projects can encourage students to have real conversations and create real cultural change in their schools and communities. Students put knowledge into action as they integrate issues of teen dating violence into awareness service projects.
  • Youth Advisory Council – A team of student leaders who advise Jana's Campaign on all K-12 programming and bring valuable youth perspectives to the organization. Some of the tasks the Youth Advisory Council assist with include:
    • Guidance about how to enhance and update Jana's Campaign's current programming
    • Identify key topics for presentations
    • Share/create activities to help students in middle and high schools understand teen dating violence and prevention
    • Help facilitate local presentations

Results

Before presentations, Jana's Campaign surveys student knowledge through their Survey of Audience Icebreaker. This activity allows for a discussion teen dating violence and sexual violence in their lives or in the lives of people they know. It raises awareness about abusive behaviors common to teen dating relationships. Of the students surveyed during presentations in Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado schools:

  • 89% stated that teen dating violence is a problem
  • 33% had partners who had threatened suicide after a breakup
  • 16% had been threatened in some way by a partner
  • 51% stated they knew someone who had sent, received or asked for inappropriate pictures

Jana's Campaign successes from 2013 to the present:

  • 10 states impacted through a variety of program options
  • 661 middle and high schools impacted
  • 1,282 presentations
  • 92,450 students impacted
  • 507 teachers, counselors, social workers, and advocates trained using the Safe Dates curriculum
  • 121 mini-grants awarded

Jana's Campaign has also educated medical providers, members of Kansas Counseling Association (KCA), Soroptimist International, Southwest Plains Regional Service Center (SWPRSC), Counselors Council, and the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA) about the prevalence and importance of preventing teen dating violence.

Testimonies from participating schools show the difference Jana's Campaign Secondary Education Prevention Programs 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 School Student
  • "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 Executive Director
  • "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!" – School Counselor

Awards and Recognition:

  • DomesticShelter.org / Theresa's Fund Purple Ribbon Award Winner – Lifetime Achievement Award for Christie Brungardt, 2022
  • 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 – Outstanding National Organization, 2021
  • Community Partnership Award from the Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Teachers of Nebraska, 2018
  • Kansas Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Science (KATFACS)'s Award of Merit, 2017
  • Mary Byron Project's Celebrating Solutions award winner, 2016
  • Ingram's 50 Kansans You Should Know awarded to Christie Brungardt, 2014
The Brungardts
  • Kansas State University Alumni Association's 2013 Alumni Fellows Award (College of Education), awarded to doctors Curt and Christie Brungardt
  • 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

Challenges

  • 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 their Secondary Education Prevention Programming. The organization 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, Jana's Campaign 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 during presentations.

Replication

  • Secondary Education Prevention Programming 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 school system.
  • Each program and training's content can be easily adapted into school subjects and ongoing classroom efforts.
  • 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.

Additional Tools

  • Teen dating violence resources, facts, videos, and educational tools can be found on the Jana's Campaign website.
  • Schools can request supplemental materials at no cost.
  • Jana's Campaign hosts a Community Toolbox, created by University of Kansas, to help guide volunteer efforts.

Contact Information

Kaiti Blackburn, Executive Director
Jana's Campaign
785.656.0324
janascampaign@gmail.com

Topics
Abuse and violence
Children and youth
Schools

States served
Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska

Date added
June 4, 2018

Date updated or reviewed
March 6, 2024

Suggested citation: Rural Health Information Hub, 2024. Jana's Campaign: Secondary Education Prevention Programming [online]. Rural Health Information Hub. Available at: https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/project-examples/1013 [Accessed 25 May 2024]


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