Getting REAL About Relationships

SCCADVASA Takes the Lead on Raising Awareness About Healthy Relationships for South Carolina Youth

Part 1 of a 3-part Series Dedicated to Youth, Relationships and Dating

Youth and young adults today face challenges that previous generations couldn’t have envisioned. Changes in technology alone make the landscape for everyday life far different than it used to be. Navigating the world of dating in the era of social media, online dating, and text messaging can add a layer of complexity that is difficult for anyone, let alone teens and young adults who are still learning about sex, sexuality, and healthy relationships. Add to that the possibility of documented evidence for posterity and you’ve got the recipe for a rest-of-your-life disaster.

However, not all changes facing dating youth and young adults are bad. No one can argue the positive impact that movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp have had on opening the eyes of the general public to matters of respect and consent. In their new REALationships 101 campaign, the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA) is building on this momentum by providing messages and information to young adults on the codes and building blocks of healthy relationships.

Initially funded by a grant from TJX Foundation in an effort to lift vulnerable communities globally up towards a brighter future, SCCADVASA’s REALationships 101 campaign aims to reduce, if not prevent, the need for intervention services in the first place.

Education is the key. “Making young folks aware of what healthy relationships should and should not be, what they should and should not look like, and how both parties in the relationship should and should not behave is paramount to ensuring they won’t need us down the road,” says Cory France, Communications Coordinator for SCCADVASA.

South Carolina’s current statistics on intimate partner and sexual violence are staggering. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 42.6% of women in our state have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence or stalking. According to the Violence Policy Center, the Palmetto State is one of the most dangerous states in the nation in terms of women murdered at the hands of men. In their 2018 report, they ranked South Carolina sixth worst out of the 50 states, with a female homicide rate that remains well above the national average. Relationship violence starts young; 9.1% of high school students report they have been physically assaulted by a dating partner.

By raising awareness of concepts such as consent, respect, trust, and the value of personal spaces through the REALationships 101 campaign, SCCADVASA hopes to shift the trajectory for this state going forward.

Join us for our next two stories as we explore in-depth what REALationships 101 is from the lens of its creators at SCCADVASA. We will examine how the campaign is being used to connect with young readers and inform the dating public with actionable steps for the common good of our community as a whole.

To learn more about SCCADVASA and their advocacy, awareness, education and prevention initiatives across our state, or to find your local domestic violence and sexual assault organization in your community, call 803-256-2900 or visit them online at