Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence Programs
Primary prevention is a strategy focused on addressing everyday behaviors and attitudes that lead to violence, and challenging young adults to change the culture. One strategy through which this is achieved is by empowering bystanders to stand up and speak out when they see behavior that contributes to a culture that accepts violence.
The Crime Victims' Center of Chester County, Inc. (CVC) also seeks to engage men as allies in ending sexual violence. We have created programs to encourage young men to become leaders in the community to stand up against violence. We help boys and young men to understand the world around them and give them the tools to challenge violence in their everyday lives.
All of these programs are appropriate for students in middle school, high school and post-secondary institutions, and can be adapted for elementary school students as well as adults.
MEN AND WOMEN
Society tells us that prevention of sexual violence is only a women’s issue. In this interactive workshop, we will encourage women and men to share the responsibility of preventing sexual and gender-based violence. While we explore popular prevention methods that reduce one’s risk, we also provide practical strategies for men to analyze and apply strategies to avoid or manage conflict and violence in a healthy way. This program also educates the audience with the facts of sexual and gender-based violence that we all must know to make our communities a safer place to live in.
BEING AN ALLY AND AN ACTIVE BYSTANDER
Has there ever been a time when someone stuck up for you when you really needed an ally? In this activity, we focus on giving the audience the tools and skills to stick up for others when they see a member of the community in need of some help. The first section of this program is designed to illustrate to the audience the meaning of being an ally to those who in need. We also use real-life situations to role-play safe strategies to intervene in situations to create an environment free of discrimination and harassment.
GOING UP THE STREAM
Imagine you are relaxing next to a stream and suddenly you see someone drowning. What would you do? What would you do if there were five people drowning, or a hundred? Would you look for the source of the problem? In this interactive exercise, we explore the stream as the various thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, and social norms that perpetuate violence against women. We analyze the impact of violence on the victim and surrounding community, as well as the interrelationship between environmental factors and community safety. The audience will also discover the tools needed to take individual responsibility to make their home, school and community a safer place.
“Act like a man!” “Man-up!” What do boys learn about masculinity as they grow up? From whom do they learn? This program helps break down the messages that boys are exposed to as they grow into men. We discuss with the audience members what it means to “man-up” and how doing so affects the people within the surrounding community. We also explore and analyze the causes of violence that are rooted in the way that we expect men to act and how they come to learn these expectations. Boys will come to recognize the walls of the “Man Box” and how they can think outside of its restrictions.
BUILDING A MAN
Making a man is actually more difficult than it seems. Often the specific roles that men are expected to perform are unobtainable and contradictory. In this program we explore how the media portrays men by comparing popular male figures to see who society would say is the “real man.” Then we will use these characteristics to build society’s ideal man. What seems like a structure as strong as Superman, through discussion lead by the audience’s own experiences, will become as fragile as a Jenga set, and at whose cost.
HOT DOGS FOR BREAKFAST
Why don’t we eat hot dogs for breakfast? What’s the difference between hot dogs and sausage? In this program we explore how beliefs, behaviors, and social norms are created. Just like our ideas about appropriate breakfast foods are given to us by messages from our peers, the media, and other environmental factors, so are our ideas about violence. And just like persuading people to eat hot dogs for breakfast, it will take more than just education to change knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors about gender-based violence. This program is particularly insightful for faculty, staff, and other professionals who want to create strategies to make their own communities a safer place for its members.
COACHING BOYS INTO MEN
This program utilizes the impactful relationship between a coach and his team, as well as the influence peers have on one another regarding acceptable and tolerable behavior. Coaching Boys into Men calls for twelve weekly discussions between a coach and the team, that last roughly fifteen minutes, where they can openly and honestly discuss aspects of healthy and respectful relationships. The program also works to promote non-violent interactions between men and women, and charges athletes to become role models in challenging harmful behaviors on a continuum that promote violence. As leaders in their schools, athletes have the tools and social status to positively influence the culture in which they operate on a daily basis. This program is appropriate for both the middle-school and high-school level.
Watch this video to learn more (1 minute 15 seconds): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzmQwY6JFLY