One of United Way’s key strategies in helping to reduce teen pregnancy, sexual violence and victimization for young people of all genders is the implementation of proven prevention and education programs through Healthy Youth Initiative.
United Way has selected Making Proud Choices!, Reducing the Risk, and Wise Guys as its signature curricula. All three programs have been used successfully in Milwaukee and nationwide. By implementing the same programs throughout the community, United Way can accurately track progress and results through common outcomes and indicators, while also forming best practices.
Since 2001 the Healthy Youth Initiative, United Way has invested over $8.5 million and more than 43,000 youth and parents have been served. In 2018-19 United Way is investing in 14 Healthy Youth programs for a total investment of $545,000. More than 2,300 Milwaukee-area youth will be served by these programs
There is a strong correlation between sexual violence and teen pregnancy, which is why United Way also invests in several curriculums that promote healthy relationships, recognize and prevent teen sex trafficking, and build skills on how to identify unhealthy or violent relationships.
- High school girls experiencing dating violence were found to be 4 to 6 times more likely than their non-abused peers to have ever been pregnant.
- At least one fourth of adolescent mothers, and as many as 50-80 percent, are in abusive relationships before, during or after their pregnancies.
Of the Healthy Youth Initiative participants:
- 80% demonstrated an increased understanding and awareness of sexual victimization.
- 82% demonstrated knowledge of the causes of pregnancy and pregnancy prevention.
- 90% demonstrated knowledge of sexually transmitted infections and how to prevent them.
- 86% had goals for their future.