“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
– Dr. Seuss, American Children’s Author
Sexual Assualt Prevention Resources for Adults Working with Teens
The Resource Hub is a compilation resources from across the internet into one place with the goal of increasing communities’ understanding of ways to promote healthy relationships and provide strategies to reduce the likelihood of sexual violence among youth. Resources for adults who are working with teen communities fall primarily into these categories and can be easily sorted to meet your needs.
PARENTS & GUARDIANS
“My hope is that in fifty years we’ll have a generation that has grown up their whole lives hearing about consent and boundaries.”
– Tarana Burke, Activist and Founder of the #MeToo Movement
“Don’t teach your son that girls are meant to be protected. Teach him that he has to create a world where girls don’t have to be afraid of anyone.”
-Rituparna Ghosh, Indian film director, actor, writer and lyricist.
Parents and guardians and the environment they create in their home can significantly influence whether or not their child will: 1) perpetrate sexual violence; 2) feel safe telling if they are ever sexually harmed; or 3) ask them questions about sex and sexuality. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention list risk factors for perpetrating sexual violence, including: a family environment characterized by physical violence and conflict; a childhood history of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse; an emotionally unsupportive family environment; and poor parent-child relationship, particularly with fathers. Similarly, kids are more likely to talk to someone about sexual violence, sex, and sexuality with someone they trust; and have healthy and safe communication. To learn more about how you can be an ally for your child and in your community, please see the resources below.
MEN AS ALLIES
When we talk about sexual violence, it is girls and women who most often come to mind. When we think about prevention, we often think, “don’t walk alone, carry pepper spray, take self-defense class,” etc. – continuing to focus on what women and girls should do; however, 91-99% of sex offenders are men. To end sexual violence, boys and men MUST take the lead in redefining masculinity, uplifting gender equity, and holding other boys and men accountable for sexist jokes and sexually, physically, and emotionally abusive behaviors towards their dating and marital partners. In a world where toxic masculinity is praised and encouraged, being a male ally to end sexual violence can be challenging. Please see the resources below to help you in your journey. We need you, because as Tony Porter states, “If women could end violence against women and girls by themselves, they would have done it already.”
Men as Allies
“Preventing sexual violence starts with what we teach our boys.”
“Coaches consistently rank as the #1 positive influence in today’s youth.”
–Futures Without Violence
“My coach said I run like a girl, and I said if he ran a little faster he could, too”
–Mia Hamm, US retired professional soccer player, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion
Sports are a significant part of US culture. Research has proven that coaches and peer athletes play an influential role in kids’ lives — one that can not only transform their attitudes and behaviors toward sexual violence but actually help to decrease and prevent dating abuse. Adolescents tend to spend a lot of time with their coaches and hold them in high regard, giving coaches a rare opportunity to model positive behavior. Please see the resources below to help you use your influence to create safer communities where men and boys learn that being strong means speaking out against comments and behaviors that lead to sexual and dating abuse.
Teachers play a vital role in their students’ academic, emotional, and social development. For some kids, teachers are their closest allies and safest adults. This type of influence provides a tremendous opportunity to student self-esteem and to model healthy communication, boundaries, and respect. In other words, school teachers can play a vital role in sexual violence prevention. Please see below for resources on ways to engage your students in sexual violence prevention activities.
“Sexual harassment and assault occur in all kinds of schools, regardless of location. Remember that students have come to endure sexual harassment as a normal part of their school experience, even though it interferes with their learning and takes an emotional toll. Most parents aren’t aware of the risks that all children face.” – Ending K-12 Sexual Harassment: A Toolkit for Parents and Allies/Stop Sexual Assault in Schools
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
-Frederick Douglass, American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman
COMMUNITY EDUCATORS & LEADERS
Community Educators & Leaders
“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.”
–Lady Bird Johnson. American socialite and the First Lady of the United States as the wife of the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson
After school staff, youth group leaders, camp counselors, LGBTQ Center staff, community educators, and the like provide safe spaces and youth growth opportunities. These community members often connect with youth in a more personal and relaxed way than teachers and parents/guardians, almost like peers rather than authority figures. Such relationships can create opportunities for teens to be more open and vulnerable to both learning and sharing. These community leaders have a crucial role in engaging kids in discussions and activities that can lead to decreased sexual and dating violence. Please see resources below.