Dating violence intervention developed with LGBTQ2S+ youth for LGBTQ2S+ youth

Fostering healthy relationships among LGBTQ2S+ youth in British Columbia

Gender-based violence disproportionately affects people who identify as LGBTQ2S+ and gender non-conforming individuals. Trend analyses of the province-wide BC Adolescent Health Survey tell us that lesbian, gay, or bisexual youth are three to six times more likely to experience dating violence than their straight peers. In addition, our Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey finds trans and non-binary youth report even higher rates of dating violence.

Adolescence is a key time to provide young people with the knowledge and skills to develop healthy relationships that are free from violence and abuse. SARAVYC has partnered with the McCreary Centre Society and their Youth Research Academy to develop, implement, and evaluate a healthy relationship intervention with LGBTQ2S+ youth for LGBTQ2S+ youth in British Columbia.


Develop and facilitate education modules

In collaboration with youth, we will develop education modules focused on preventing dating violence for LGBTQ2S+ adolescents. We will pilot the intervention across British Columbia, meeting queer youth in the spaces they tend to frequent— Gender Sexuality Alliance Clubs (GSAs) and LGBTQ2S+ youth community groups. We will then scale up across the country.

The proposed intervention, developed with LGBTQ2S+ youth for LGBTQ2S+ youth, incorporating trauma-informed and culturally safe approaches, should help foster healthier relationships, prevent or reduce dating violence, and in turn, reduce the health inequities faced by LGBTQ2S+ youth as a result of stigma and trauma.

At the completion of these modules, participants will:

  • Have greater awareness of dating violence in LGBTQ2S+ relationships
  • Be able to identify both dating violence behaviours and healthy relationships
  • Experience role playing conflict management and learn effective strategies in relationships
  • Define strategies for being effective bystanders and supportive friends to peers in violent dating relationships

Evaluate intervention

We will conduct surveys to evaluate the intervention and its impact on knowledge, motivation to change attitudes, and influence on behaviours that support healthy relationships.

Identify barriers

By interviewing teachers, counselors, and facilitators, we will identify barriers and improvements to support a country-wide intervention. Without these learned lessons, the most effective intervention is limited.

Measure Impact

Using BC Adolescent Health Survey (BCAHS) data from before and after the intervention, we will measure potential shifts in dating violence behavior among LGBTQ2S+ youth.


  • An online, downloadable manual (available in English and French)
  • Train the Trainer workshops throughout British Columbia
  • Infographics about the intervention and its outcomes (available in French and English)
  • Peer-reviewed papers
  • Pre and post-intervention surveys and interviews

Our team


The SARAVYC team is led by:

  • Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc, Executive Director
  • Dr. Ashley Taylor, Post Doctoral Fellow
  • Dr. Ronita Nath, Project Manager
  • Quantitative and qualitative graduate research assistant

McCreary Centre Society

McCreary Centre Society (MCS) is a non-government, not-for-profit committed to improving the health of BC youth through research, evaluation and community based projects. Our vision is that all youth are supported to be healthy and connected. MCS has extensive experience coordinating youth engagement in research projects relevant to youth in British Columbia. The MCS team is led by:

  • Annie Smith, Executive Director
  • McCreary Centre facilitators
  • Youth Research Academy