I attended a training this week for work and while, overall, it was fairly boring, there was some food for thought about how kids learn about violence and its acceptability within relationships.
It makes sense that to prevent violence we would want to focus on the early part of life, right? (Similar to other prevention efforts: start when people are young, and you can instill values and behaviors that will help keep them healthy throughout life). Intervention is helpful, too, but prevention is more cost-effective and humane.
The presenter mentioned how she witnessed her granddaughters learning violence on the soccer field. Her granddaughter was awarded with applause and cheers when she took out a player from another team: violence = winning. How can we ensure that kids are able to separate out healthy competition from violence from interacting with teammates and competitors from interacting with friends, family, and intimate partners?
I think this also gets into all of the research behind how violent video games impact people’s perception of violence and understanding of gender roles.
Here are a couple of resources that do both prevention and intervention:
Futures Without Violence: this organization does a host of programs targeted toward different groups of people. Coaching Boys Into Men is specifically for young male athletes.
One Love Foundation: they have a phone app for supporting people in abusive relationships stay safe
If you’re a parent, how are you talking to your kids about sexuality and violence? If you’re not, how might you model to younger people what healthy and nonviolent relationships look like?