Resources Against Violent Encounters (RAVE)


RAVE empowers middle and high school teens with the knowledge they need to prevent relationship violence. RAVE utilizes the Safe Dates research-based curriculum. Through highly engaging and interactive lessons, teens gain the skills needed to build healthy relationships.

RAVE brings relationship violence out of the shadows and provides teens and pre-teens with an opportunity to share and learn about healthy relationships in a safe, supportive setting. RAVE is a positive step toward breaking the cycle of relationship violence.



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RAVE is an interactive prevention education program geared to middle and high school youth. It’s designed to inform and equip participants with information, tools, resources, and confidence in dealing with abusive or potentially abusive relationships.

When you request the training, you can customize the topics that best serve your group. The program helps teens recognize the difference between caring, supportive dating relationships and controlling, manipulative, or abusive relationships. Students gain skills they need for healthy relationships, which will help them now and in the future.

RAVE is available at NO COST upon request to any Kent County school class, church group, sports team, youth group, club, or organization.

RAVE Sessions At-A-Glance

How RAVE Got Started

This story begins with something absolutely tragic — the violent rape and murder of Mary Murch.

On a typical night in 1984, Mary Murch opened her door to a 17-year-old stranger asking to use the phone. That call never happened and Mary’s life ended that night. Her violent rape and murder left her family and community devastated and dealing with the unanswerable question of Why?

After the devastating shock of losing their sister, the Murch family eventually and unselfishly asked, “How can we honor Mary’s life?” and “What can we do to prevent this from happening to someone else?”

They learned violence is cyclical and those who were abused and experienced violence often repeat the cycle against others. To create positive change, the cycle has to be broken.

Mary’s sister-in-law was dedicated to introducing an educational program called RAVE in 1994 and five years later merging it into Family Futures.

Since its beginning, RAVE has reached over 10,000 participants and continues breaking the cycle of violence and honoring Mary Murch’s life.

You can be part of this movement as Family Futures works towards a happy ending to this story. RAVE is breaking the cycle of violence and ensuring young people learn and realize their value, set their standards, and live with non-violent expectations. Join Family Futures and RAVE in this work.

Program Numbers That Count

RAVE equips teens with the resources they need to build better relationships and it’s working. During the last school year (2015-2016):

Service Numbers

  • 1,215 students participated
  • 151 sessions delivered
  • 18 schools/youth-serving agencies served with RAVE

Results From Experiencing RAVE

  • 98% reported increased knowledge
  • 82% could name positive qualities they want in a dating partner
  • 88% reported they knew of community resources that can help if they feel unsafe

Here are a few printer-friendly tools that will aid in the journey to healthy relationships:

Teen Relationship Equality Wheel

What Our Teen Participants Are Saying

RAVE helped me to feel safe and let me know who I can go to if I need to talk, or need some help.
RAVE helped me learn how to better control my anger and how I can get my point across with words rather than actions.
RAVE helped me learn how to tell if someone might be in an abusive relationship and what to do if someone is abusive towards me.
Our RAVE instructor worked well with us and treated us like young adults, not kids.

Young Leaders Against Violence is a local youth-led coalition focused on dating and sexual abuse awareness and prevention. Students who share a common interest in eliminating violence meet to brainstorm and implement projects ranging from grant writing to social media campaigns.

Support RAVE

Thanks to your support our program can continue educating our community on how to prevent teen dating violence.  Just $250.00 will sponsor a classroom and equips teens with the knowledge and confidence to prevent dating violence in their lives.


Volunteers are integral to building brighter futures here in Kent County. To find out more about our next training opportunity, please call (616) 454-HOPE (4673) or email volunteer@familyfutures.net.


It takes an entire community to protect children and support families. Those helping us create a better future include:

  • Kent County Domestic Violence Coordinated Community Response Team
  • The Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Kent County Sexual Assault Task Force
  • Kent County Health Department
  • Safe Haven Ministries
  • Pine Rest
  • Michigan State University Extension
  • YWCA West Central Michigan



Our funding is provided in part by:

  • United Way
  • River City Foundation
  • Private Donors
  • Keller Foundation
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