Creative Action

Changing Lifes Theatre


Expect Respect


Expect Respect® engages youth, parents, schools and community organizations in promoting healthy teen relationships and preventing dating abuse. Click here to view a video about our program.

Teen dating abuse is a serious public health problem.

One in ten students report having been hit, slapped or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the year preceeding the survey. Teen dating abuse increases teens’ risk for abusive relationships as adults; physical, emotional and mental health problems including depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse; unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections; and dropping out of school.

Expect Respect offers a comprehensive prevention program for middle and high school students.

Serving Austin-area schools since 1988, Expect Respect is built on an ecological, trauma-informed model and offers a comprehensive prevention program for youth in middle and high schools. Expect Respect has 3 primary program components that 1) support boys and girls who have been exposed to violence, 2) mobilize youth as leaders and 3) engage schools, parents and community organizations in creating safe and healthy environments.
Program Goals and Activities
Support Youth Exposed to Violence

Many youth experience violence at home, in the community, and in their peer or dating relationships. They need emotional support and intervention to heal from trauma and build skills for healthy relationships. Expect Respect provides counseling and weekly, curriculum-based support group sessions at school for youth exposed to violence or abuse.
Mobilize Youth Leaders

Teens want to be part of the movement to stop violence and abuse. Expect Respect educates and empowers teens with the knowledge and skills they need to design and lead prevention efforts in their schools and communities. Youth Leadership Groups are offered during the school year on campus and during the summer in collaboration with the City of Austin/Travis County Work-based Learning/ Summer Youth Employment Program.

The Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble, a collaborative project with Creative Action, consists of talented and dedicated youth who create and tour original performances on teen relationship issues.
Create Safe Schools and Communities

Everyone in the community has a stake and a role to play in preventing dating and sexual violence among teens. Expect Respect works with parents, teachers, coaches, nurses and other important adults in teens’ lives to promote safe and healthy relationships.



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Board and Leadership Team
The SAFE Alliance Staff
Executive Office
Kelly White HeadshotKelly White
Chief Executive Officer Julia Spann HeadshotJulia Spann, MSW

Senior Leadership
Wendie Abramson HeadshotWendie Abramson, LMSW
Chief Quality Officer Melinda Cantu HeadshotMelinda Cantu, MSW
Vice President, Housing, Healing, and Support Services Derrick Crowe HeadshotDerrick Crowe
Director of Communications
Angela Glode HeadshotAngela Glode
Chief Development Officer Kitt Krejci HeadshotKitt Krejci
Chief Financial Officer Daniel Cox Malyszka HeadshotDaniel Cox Malyszka, PHR, FPC, SHRM-CP
Chief Human Resource Officer
Maren Strachan HeadshotMaren Strachan
Chief Operations Officer Coni Stogner HeadshotConi Stogner
Vice President of Prevention and Community Services
Senior Directors

Aja Gair
Senior Director of Community Advocacy

Kari Hamilton
Senior Director, Residential Services, Austin Children’s Shelter

Yvette Mendoza Rouen
Senior Director of Shelter & Children’s Services at SafePlace

Barri Rosenbluth, LCSW
Senior Director, Expect Respect

Abigail Sharp
Senior Director of Child Abuse Prevention

The SAFE Alliance Board of Directors

Michael Simons, Chair
Vinson & Elkins

Cameron Brown, Vice Chair

Bob May, Treasurer and Immediate Past Board Chair
Formerly McCombs School of Business, University of Texas
Boone Almanza
Almanza, Blackburn & Dickie, LLP
Noël Busch-Armendariz,
Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, University of Texas
Gerardo Castillo
Capital Metro
Quan Cosby
Marsh & McLennan Companies
John Daigre
Dell Medical School at University of Texas at Austin Gretchen Ellis
GWA Partners, LP
Theresa Garza
G-51 Capital Janet Heher
Community Volunteer
Felicia Hester
Community Volunteer
Amanda Hodges
Chris Huston
Cisco Systems Shannon Hutcheson
Hutcheson Bowers, LLP
Catherine Morse
Samsung James “Chico” Parker
Sayers & Associates
MariBen Ramsey
Community Leader and
Independent Consultant Nelia Robbi
McGinnis Lochridge
Celina Romero
Duggins Wren Mann & Romero, LLP Chance Sampson
Entergy Texas, Inc.
Cindy Sightes
St. David’s HealthCare Todd Stewart
Dealer Wizard
Upali Weerasooriya
University of Texas Rachael Wyatt
US Trust/Bank of America
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Changing Lives Youth Theatre

Changing Lives Youth Theatre, a program of Expect Respect and Safe Place, tours the Austin area school districts with performances that address bullying, sexual harassment, cyberbullying, sexting and dating abuse.

The Show called Level Up, for example, is described as follows:
“An Epic Relationship Adventure, tracks the journey of 4 teens who find one another and “create a new game” to escape their problems. Through the framework of video games the characters find the skills they need to navigate challenges in their lives and relationships: Alex overcomes their extreme anxiety to find a community of supportive friends; Ray learns how to ask for help to seek safety from domestic violence threatening his home; Jade finds her voice to stand up to her girlfriend’s pressure to come out to her dad; and Zara discovers how to navigate the complexity of maintaining her Muslim heritage while embracing her identity as an American teenager. The play explores how challenges with our families can complicate our dating and peer relationships. Ultimately the characters discover the power of agency, community, allies, and assertive communication to address their problems and strengthen their relationships.”

The Spring 2017 tour include middle schools throughout the Austin metro area including: Webb, Covington, Bedichek, Gus Garcia, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Manor, Pflugerville, Dessau, and Del Valle.