Start Rape Prevention Education in Grades K-12
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An American is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds resulting in 63,000 children, 1 in 6 women, and 1 in 33 men becoming a victim of sexual assault or rape during their lifetime. Although many people will experience the emotional trauma of being sexually assaulted, 70% will never report it out of fear that they will be judged, blamed and rejected.
Currently, sexual assault and harassment is viewed through the lens of rape culture, where the victim is blamed in some way (clothing, location, sobriety, sexuality, etc.) for their assault. This is a false narrative that reinforces the silence of victims, inhibits solutions for preventing further assaults, and creates an unsafe environment. If we are to combat rape culture, we need to begin with an effective education program that will teach our children respectful body boundaries, assertive communication skills, how to navigate the complexities of relationships and that “no means no” but only “yes means yes”.
This type of curriculum already exists! We discovered a free resource from Rape Victim Advocates that is being effectively implemented in other communities. The outline to this prevention program shows that it can fit easily into any health class curriculum and/or guidance counselor run groups. The most wonderful part is that it's offered for free to those interested in being trained to implement it!
Many of us will become survivors or will know survivors in our lifetime. Let us be the change to prevent future generations from experiencing the mental health struggles that result from sexual abuse. Please sign this petition to encourage HCPSS and MCPS to join the progressive movement of other schools in our nation by implementing a rape prevention education in grades K-12.
Thank you all so much for the support and feel free to share the link on social media and with friends to spread the word!
- Rape culture is a sociological concept used to describe a setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality. Behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, slut shaming, sexual objectification, trivializing rape, denial of widespread rape, refusing to acknowledge the harm caused by some forms of sexual violence, or some combination of these. ("Rape Culture." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 06 June 2017. Web. 10 June 2017.)
- "Yes Means Yes" & Affirmative Action: Yes means yes is a groundbreaking effort. It’s particularly powerful because it empowers colleges and universities to hold perpetrators accountable who assaulted individuals who were either asleep or incapacitated by alcohol or drugs."(http://endrapeoncampus.org/yes-means-yes/
- Here is a free program example for grades K-12: http://www.rapevictimadvocates.org/programs-services/education-and-training/programs-for-youth/
- Statistics are from the following resources: https://www.rainn.org/statistics/scope-problem https://www.nsopw.gov/enUS/Education/FactsStatistics?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
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