Sexual Violence Prevention

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?

One thought on “Sexual Violence Prevention

  1. Oddly enough we’re dealing with this in kindergarten. Our daughter has a boy in her class that just has no control of himself so if they are playing and he gets too physical and she says “no, stop it, I don’t like it.” He doesn’t and infact escalates things.
    On top of talking to staff we are teaching her to say no, telling the teacher, and asking her to stay far far away from this boy we are signing her up for Krav Maga. She also wants to “fix” him… Her words. 😦
    I feel like schools, or at least ours, protects boys because they are just more ruff and tumble. But it teaches them that it’s okay to not listen to other peoples words. So now half my heart hopes that when my daughter learns self defense skills she can’t put it to this boy and I will fully back her!

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