The ViRAJ Program, a dating violence prevention program for teens, was launched in 1989. Since 1994, the Quebec Minister of Education has made the program available throughout Quebec with the support of the Minister of Health and Social Services. The ViRAJ Program targets 14- and 15-year old students enrolled in their third year of secondary school. However, as a result of the demand expressed by teens and educators we went on to develop new activities. Consequently, the PASSAJ Program was developed in 2007 with new material specifically for 16- and 17-year olds.
The ViRAJ Program is made up of two 75-minute sessions dealing with dating relationships including supplementary activities such as writing a letter of support to a victim. The two primary themes are : 1) abusive behaviour within dating relationships with examples and 2) the rights of the two dating partners. The ViRAJ program was reedited in 2009 after a formative evaluation with 1,000 students.
In the PASSAJ Program students explore three main themes: 1) control in dating relationships, 2) sexual abuse in dating relationships and friendships and 3) sexual harassment in work and study situations. The program is comprised of three sessions which can be presented to mixed-gender groups and was developed to take place within the time frame of a 75-minute class period. Although the program has was conceived primarily for use within school settings, it may also be used by youth centres, recreational groups, etc.