SPOTLIGHT ON GRANTEE: Family Crisis Services

SPOTLIGHT ON GRANTEE: Family Crisis Services

Young women from the Global Girls Group at Portland High School during the poster campaign to raise awareness of teen dating violence.

For 37 years, Family Crisis Services has served survivors of domestic violence and worked to further women's rights in Cumberland County. The Young Adult Abuse Prevention Program (YAAPP) was established in 1996 to raise awareness and educate youth age 12 through 24 about dating abuse and domestic violence; it comprises the prevention team of Family Crisis Services. Each year, YAAPP educates youth using interactive presentations that focus on dating violence and providing youth with the information and skills they need to think critically about relationships. YAAPP also offers one-to-one advocacy for youth who are experiencing dating abuse. 


The Maine Women's Fund's program funding supports the facilitation of YAAPP's Global Girls Groups discussion and activity groups at Deering High School, Portland High School and Casco Bay High School. The majority of the girls in these groups are English Language Learners coming from countries experiencing turmoil; or they are the first generation born here and have parents who are refugees or political asylum seekers. The Global Girls Group fills the need for an ongoing primary prevention program that offers New Mainer high school girls a safe and supportive place to explore gender equality, the oppression of women, and the global epidemic of violence against women and girls. The forums empower young women who have arrived in Maine from around the world and view these issues as problems that can be solved by speaking their opinions and inspiring others to do the same. 

Young women from the Global Girls Group at Deering High School during the poster campaign to raise awareness of teen dating violence.


Planned outcomes of the grant include the creation of new curriculum; outreach efforts to potential collaborating organizations that work with new Mainers; the building of a safe space for discussion and

A poster made by Portland High School students to help create awareness of the prevalence of teen dating violence during "Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month"

 exploration by setting goals, creating a group identity, and naming their own strength and power; and engaging in activities that allow them to communicate around violence and cultural norms. All the Global Girls Groups have chosen to make and distribute posters throughout their schools and on social media to raise awareness about dating violence.  


Program outcomes will be measured by pre- and post-questionnaires for this year as well as the number of events and the number of people participating in the Global Girls Events. This data will be complemented by the sharing that takes place at a "Voices of Change" conference retreat for all the participants and through reflective journal pieces the will be submitted to the international community of World Pulse International via their website


We are proud to fund this dynamic program working to educate Maine youth on dating violence and what makes a healthy relationship. For more information, visit

YAAPP's "Continuum of Harm" exercise, highlighting beliefs and actions that are prevalent in our society that perpetuate harm to gender equality.

Posted 03.15.2015 under Press Releases