Support Groups

Expect Respect Support Groups serve elementary, middle and high school students in Austin, Texas who have experienced violence or abuse in their homes, peer or dating relationships. Peer support groups meet on campus during the school day to maximize accessibility.  Individual counseling and advocacy are also provided.

Supporting Students Who…

  • Are in unhealthy peer or dating relationships
  • Are involved in bullying
  • Have difficulty managing anger
  • Are socially isolated
  • Worry about making their partner angry or jealous
  • Use alcohol or drugs
  • Are pregnant or parenting
  • Have experienced any form of violence or abuse

Building Skills for Healthy Relationships

  • Weekly support groups are led by licensed counselors and trained facilitators.
  • The 24-session curriculum for middle and high school students focuses on developing communication skills, choosing equality and respect, recognizing abuse, learning skills for healthy relationships and becoming active proponents for safe and healthy relationships. The 10-session curriculum for elementary school students focuses on increasing emotion regulation, safety, communication skills, and peer support.

"I realized that my girlfriend was pressuring me to do bad things. I kept getting into trouble around her when I was with her, so I broke up with her, because it was not a healthy relationship."
- Male support group participant

"My counselor helped me understand that the abuse was not my fault. She also taught me ways to relax when I was feeling anxious in class."
- Female support group participant

"The girls who participated in this group were eager to learn and interact with the Expect Respect facilitator and their peers. I have seen the participants mature and carry themselves differently on campus since participating in group."
- School Counselor

"The boys were committed to the group. They matured over this past year and many become more aware of their decisions and gained more self-awareness about their own relationships and red flags that may be emerging."
- CIS Manager

Participating Schools in Austin ISD (2017-18)

  • Elementary Schools: Govalle, Cook, 
  • Middle Schools:  Bailey, Burnet, Bedichek, Covington, Fulmore, Martin, Mendez, Murchison, O’Henry, Paredes, Sadler Means Women's Leadership Academy, Small, Webb
  • High Schools: Akins, Anderson, Austin, Bowie, Crockett, Eastside, Garza, International, Lanier, LBJ, McCallum, Reagan, Travis

Participating Schools in Manor ISD (2017-18)

  • Elementary Schools: Blake Manor, Manor, Oak Meadows, Presidential Meadows, Pioneer Crossing, Shadow Glen, Bluebonnet Trails
  • Middle Schools: Manor MS, Decker MS< Manor New Tech MS
  • High Schools: Manor HS, Manor Excel Academy, Manor New Tech HS

Program Evaluation

The program evaluation of Expect Respect Support Groups, conducted with support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, demonstrated that Expect Respect Support Groups are an effective strategy to reduce peer aggression among high-risk adolescent boys and girls, and additionally reduce teen dating violence perpetration and victimization among boys.


Referrals can be made at any time by contacting a school counselor, Communities in Schools Program Manager, or