Jana's Campaign: Love Doesn't Hurt
- 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, 603 middle and high schools and more than 70,000 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.
Jana's 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 71 rural counties in Kansas, 49 rural counties in Nebraska, and 12 rural counties in Colorado.
Jana's Campaign consistently partners with FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) and FACS (Family and Consumer Sciences) programs and both the Kansas State Board of Education and the Nebraska State Board of Education to implement their prevention efforts in area schools.
Jana's Campaign has received funds from the following organizations for their Love Doesn't Hurt program:
- The Eastman Foundation
- Mary Byron Foundation
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation
- Kansas Health Foundation
- Heartland Community Foundation
- Verizon Wireless
- Midwest Energy
- Futures Without Violence
- Western Kansas Community Foundation
- Sunflower Community Foundation
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 students' needs.
- School Presentations/Assemblies – 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.
- 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 relationship 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 announcements.
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 Colorado schools:
- 88% stated that teen dating violence is a problem
- 33% had partners who had threatened suicide after a breakup
- 15% 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:
- 9 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
- 630 middle and high schools impacted
- 835 presentations
- 70,149 students impacted
- 494 teachers, counselors, social workers, advocates trained using the Safe Dates curriculum
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 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
Awards and Recognition:
- Received the Community Partnership Award from the Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Teachers of Nebraska in 2018
- Kansas Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Science (KATFACS)'s Award of Merit winner in 2017
- Mary Byron Project's Celebrating Solutions award winner in 2016
- Ingram's 50 Kansans You Should Know awarded to Christie Brungardt in 2014
- 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
- 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 during presentations.
- 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 school system.
- Each program and training's content can be easily adapted into school subjects and ongoing classroom efforts.
Abuse and violence
Children and youth
Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska
June 4, 2018
Date updated or reviewed
January 6, 2020
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