The Two-Way Mirror: Links Between Sexual Assault and Teen Pregnancy

Teen pregnancy and sexual violence prevention have historically been addressed by separate community agencies with very distinct missions. Seeking to change that, STSM’s education staff recently introduced a presentation entitled, The Two-Way Mirror: Strategies for Preventing Sexual Assault and Teen Pregnancy.

The two-part workshop debuted this month at the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy’s Summer Institute in North Charleston, an annual event that brings together primary prevention experts from across the Southeast to discuss the latest research and strategies for reducing the incidence of teen pregnancy on local, statewide, and national levels.

In The Two-Way Mirror, STSM’s Jacqlyn Baylis and Kayce Singletary use their knowledge of sexual health and sexual assault prevention to illustrate the overwhelming need for collaboration among pregnancy prevention agencies and rape crisis centers. The effects of sexual assault in children often mirror the risk factors for experiencing a teen pregnancy. For example, the effects of childhood sexual abuse can result in an earlier sexual debut, increased number of sexual partners, alcohol and drug abuse, and a lack of contraceptive and condom use – all of which are risk factors for unintended pregnancy among adolescents. In addition to highlighting these commonalities, Jacqlyn and Kayce provided workshop participants with contact information for each of the 15 rape crisis centers throughout South Carolina so that future partnerships may be established.

An encore presentation of The Two-Way Mirror will be held on August 22 when STSM’s education team travels to Chicago to present at the National Sexual Assault Conference.

For more information on this topic, you can read Childhood Sexual Abuse and Teen Pregnancy, a paper produced by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy in partnership with Child Trends. If you are interested in free STSM presentations on sexual assault issues, visit the Education and Outreach section of our website for a list of programs for youth and adults, or contact our Community Education Director via email or 803-790-8208.