Seeding a Change in Knowledge about, Attitudes towards and Perceptions of Dating Violence in Turkish Prospective Counselors: The Effectiveness of a Train-the-Trainer Prevention Program

Toplu-Demirtaş E., Aracı İyiaydın A.

Journal of Family Violence, 2023 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10896-023-00666-9
  • Journal Name: Journal of Family Violence
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, CINAHL, Criminal Justice Abstracts, Gender Studies Database, HeinOnline-Law Journal Library, Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, Violence & Abuse Abstracts
  • Keywords: Attitudes towards dating violence, Counselor education, Dating violence prevention, Experimental design, Knowledge about dating violence, Perceptions of dating violence, Prospective counselors
  • TED University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop a twelve-week train-the-trainer program on dating violence (DV) prevention which we called ‘Love is Beautiful without Violence’, deliver it to prospective counselors and assess its effectiveness concerning changing their knowledge about, attitudes towards and perceptions of DV. The study was implemented in Turkey, where the prevalence of DV is quite high and college/school-based prevention programs are very limited in research. We adopted a feminist perspective for developing the program, facilitating an anti-hierarchical, egalitarian and empowering group environment. Method: In Study 1, a pre-test/post-test control group design (n = 31 for experimental; n = 39 for control) was used, and in Study 2 (n = 35), a similar pre-test/post-test group design without a control group was employed. Results: One-way ANCOVAs in Study 1 showed significant changes in counselor candidates’ post-test scores in knowledge, attitudes and perceptions between the control and experimental groups. Repeated-measures t-tests in Study 2 replicated the results, showing significant post-test changes. Conclusion: The rights-based train-the-trainer program seems to offer an effective way to approach DV prevention by rejecting hierarchies, promoting equality, empowerment and interactivity, and utilizing material and technology in its design. We highly recommend replicating it with diverse samples of prospective and in-service counselors.