Why are violence prevention programs important?

As a parent, you may be wondering about why and if violence prevention programs are necessary. There is a lot of misinformation about sexual assault, especially of children and teens. Below are some myths and facts about sexual violence.

Myth and Fact

Myth: Child sexual assault is rare.

Fact:

  • 1 in 7 girls, 1 in 25 boys will be sexually abused before age 18 (1 in 10 children on average)
  • 1 in 7 of under-18 Internet users receive unwanted sexual solicitations 

Myth: Things like this don’t happen in MY area.

Fact:

  • More than 1 in 8 girls and 1 in 15 boys in South Carolina high schools reported being physically forced to have sexual contact when they did not want to 

Myth: As long as my child stays away from strangers and does not go out alone, he/she will be safe.

Fact:

  • 90% of child victims know their attackers; only 10% of attackers are strangers 

Myth: I would know if something like this was happening with my child.

Fact:

  • Only 38% of child sexual assault victims tell anyone about their assault 

Myth: Only adult offenders can be rapists.

Fact:

  • Anywhere from 23 – 40% of child sexual assaults are carried out by perpetrators under age 18
  • 9% of teenage high school students report being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the last year, not including emotional or other abuse

How our programs help

These numbers are often scary, but how does the Youth Violence Prevention Curriculum© help fix these problems?

Implementing the Youth Violence Prevention Curriculum© creates a safe space for students to process these topics, share their ideas and experiences, and receive feedback from a qualified adult without fear of being penalized with a bad grade for an unpopular opinion. Teachers are often so busy teaching to academic standards that they may not have the time to connect with these kids in a way to educate them about social issues like dating violence and sexual assault. Our program leaders allow these discussions to happen in an open environment, encouraging students to think independently and create meaningful conversations on how to end violence in our community.

The Youth Violence Prevention Curriculum©  allows kids to really learn the pitfalls of the media they consume every day and evaluate how the media and pop culture influence them as well as encouraging them to be mindful of Internet safety. YVP teaches students how to recognize signs of an abusive relationship and seek out resources to help themselves and their peers. We encourage students to carefully consider their actions, and to look from the other person’s point-of-view to consider how their own actions might be hurtful to themselves or others. We teach students how to recognize danger, but also educate the next generation to prevent that danger from happening in the first place.

For a more concrete example of how our programs can help your children and others:

  • From pre-tests for the YVP©Program, 2014-2015 school year
    • More than 50% of students were unaware of how best to communicate with a partner
    • Less than a third of students were able to name the legal age of consent in South Carolina
    • 27% of students were unable to define consent
  • After program completion:
    • More than 60% of students correctly identified the best communication strategy to take with a partner
    • Over 3/4 of students were able to name the legal age of consent
    • The number of students unable to correctly define consent dropped by over 10%