Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s Teen Dating Violence Prevention Program Culminates in Year-End Community Quinceañero/Sweet 16 With a Purpose Celebration

JCMC Community Quince

(New Brunswick, NJ) - With the support of a generous donation of prom dresses from RWJBarnabas Health Board Chair Emeritus and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Board of Directors Chair Jack Morris, and through a generous grant from Verizon, RWJUH’s Community Health Promotions Program launched its third consecutive year of the AMARD&V Teen Dating Violence Prevention (TDV) Program for teens.

This year, the initiative was called Community Quinceañero/Sweet 16 With a Purpose Program. Teens successfully completing the program received the donated prom dresses to wear at this year’s celebration, which incorporated important community cultural traditions, and builds on the education and outreach conducted through our Domestic Violence Prevention Program to reach even more students in our communities about this important topic.

TDV is extremely prevalent in the U.S. One in every three adolescents in the U.S. has experienced physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse from a dating partner. The AMARD&V Community Quinceañero/Sweet 16 With a Purpose Program program teaches the students the differences between healthy, unhealthy, and abusive relationships, bystander intervention, consent, and other related topics. It encourages healthy relationships among local youths by focusing on themes such as building hope, resilience and self-esteem. The program is made possible through a generous grant from HopeLine from Verizon. HopeLine from Verizon connects survivors of domestic violence to vital resources, funds organizations nationwide and protects the environment. Funding from HopeLine from Verizon has allowed RWJUH to conduct this teen dating violence prevention program throughout the school year for the third consecutive year, by identifying a group of community teenagers to serve as program ambassadors of domestic violence prevention and promoting healthy relationships in their communities.

JCMC Community Quince

The program culminated on June 9 at The Imperia in Somerset with a Community Quinceañero/Sweet 16 with a Purpose celebration, where 17 area teens were celebrated and honored. The teens also performed dances they learned and various ceremonies, including the Healthy Relationships Bill of Rights, a ceremony during which they committed to Respect, Equality, Honesty, and Loyalty. The theme of the celebration was “With Love & Respect We Bloom.” The students’ parents were involved throughout the year, and had a special role in the celebration. Reverend Ramon Orostizaga, from the Suydam Street Reformed Church, led the students through the celebration ceremonies, and the event was attended by many community stakeholders. The entire event was conducted in English and Spanish.

RWJUH provided complimentary gowns for the girls to wear to the celebration, via the donation from Mr. Jack Morris, and RWJUH program staff purchased suits for the boys.

RWJUH has multiple programs focusing on domestic violence prevention and healthy relationships targeted at both adults and local youths. For example, RWJUH offers workshops on building healthy relationships for teens and adults, has conducted our NO MAS Violencia initiative to address domestic and sexual violence prevention in Latino communities. Additionally, RWJUH provides a model training program to educate health care providers about their roles in preventing and intervening in intimate partner violence; this program has educated over 2,500 providers in three states, since 2012.

To learn more about RWJUH, please visit For a referral to a physician affiliated with RWJUH, please call 1-888-724-7123 . Follow us on Twitter at and Facebook at

*Healthy Relationship Bill of Rights


You have rights in your relationship. Everyone does, and those rights can help you set boundaries that should be respected by both partners in a healthy relationship.

You have the right to privacy, both online and off. You have the right to feel safe and respected. You have the right to decide who you want to date or not date.

You have the right to say no at any time (to sex, to drugs or alcohol, to a relationship), even if you’ve said yes before.

You have the right to hang out with your friends and family and do things you enjoy, without your partner getting jealous or controlling.

You have the right to end a relationship that isn’t right or healthy for you. You have the right to live free from violence and abuse.

**Healthy Relationships

(source: )

A healthy relationship means that both you and your partner are:

Communicating: You talk openly about problems, listen to each other and respect each other’s opinions.

Respectful: You value each other as you are. You respect each other’s emotional, digital and sexual boundaries.

Trusting: You believe what your partner has to say. You do not feel the need to “prove” each other’s trustworthiness.

Honest: You are honest with each other, but can still keep some things private.

Equal: You make decisions together and hold each other to the same standards.

Enjoying personal time: You both can enjoy spending time apart, alone or with others. You respect each other’s need for time apart.

About Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) New Brunswick, an RWJBarnabas Health Facility, is a 600-bed academic medical center that serves as the principal teaching hospital of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the flagship Cancer Hospital of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Its Centers of Excellence include cardiovascular care from minimally invasive heart surgery to transplantation, cancer care, stroke care, neuroscience, orthopedics, bariatric surgery and women’s and children’s care including The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital ( A Level 1 Trauma Center and the first designated Pediatric Trauma Center in the state, RWJUH’s New Brunswick campus serves as a national resource in its ground-breaking approaches to emergency preparedness.

RWJUH has been ranked among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report seven times and has been selected by the publication as a high performing hospital in numerous specialties. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital has been ranked among the best hospitals in America by U.S. News & World Report six times. In addition, RWJUH was named among the best places to work in health care by Modern Healthcare magazine and received the Equity Care of Award as Top Hospital for Healthcare Diversity and Inclusion from the American Hospital Association. RWJUH Brunswick has earned significant national recognition for clinical quality and patient safety, including the prestigious Magnet® Award for Nursing Excellence and “Most Wired” designation by Hospitals and Health Networks Magazine. The American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer has rated RWJUH New Brunswick among the nation’s best comprehensive cancer centers. For more Information visit us online at