SEXUAL VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAMS
In addition to gaps in the Title IX Policy, one of BVSD's biggest issues is the lack of long-term sexual violence prevention programs. While new programs are being explored and enacted for kindergarten, 1st-3rd grade, 5th, 7th, and 9th, there is no long-term curriculum that has been discussed for high schoolers past freshman year. There have been suggestions of one-time seminars around homecoming dances and prom for high school but CDC research states that "… across dozens of studies using various methods and outcome measures, none have demonstrated lasting effects on risk factors or behavior. Although these brief programs may increase awareness of the issue, it is unlikely that such programs are sufficient to change behavioral patterns that are developed and continually influenced and reinforced across the lifespan” (8). One-time seminars will not be effective at impacting sexual violence rates. This is why it is necessary that BVSD incorporates research-backed programs to reduce their rates of violence. Additionally, the BVSD Sexual Harassment Policy labeled “JBB” on their website states “All students and district employees shall receive periodic training related to recognizing and preventing sexual harassment. District employees shall receive additional periodic training related to handling reports of sexual harassment”. Prior to the 2019-2020 school year, staff at Fairview High School did not receive any type of recognition or preventative training for sexual violence other than mandatory reporting training. Students at Fairview High School have never received any type of training.
Below are some of the research-backed prevention programs we have researched. All of these programs have undergone rigorous, multi-year studies and have been effective in reducing the rate of sexual violence in institutions. These programs could all be easily incorporated into BVSD policy.
The Green Dot Program
The Green Dot Program is an active bystander training program that many schools across the country have adopted. It was created by Dr. Dorothy Edwards on the premise of reducing power-based violence. Its program teaches students with a method called the 3 D’s: Direct, Delegating responsibility to others, and Distraction to defuse a potentially dangerous situation. This program has been part of a highly in depth study by scientific researchers over the course of five years and the results were published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.The study found that high schools implementing the Green Dot program experienced a 50 percent reduction in frequency of sexual violence committed by high schoolers.
Safe Dates is a program designed to prevent the initiation of dating violence in the forms of sexual, psychological, emotional, and physical aggression. This curriculum can be added into health class electives and will give students the ability to recognize the difference between a safe and caring relationship and a manipulative, abusive one. This curriculum includes preventive measures as well as lessons on how to help if a student’s friend is involved in an abusive relationship. Safe dates includes a 10-session curriculum addressing attitudes, social norms, and healthy relationship skills, a 45-minute student play about dating violence, and a poster contest.
Coaching Boys Into Men
Coaching Boys Into Men (CBIM) is a specific program intended for the athletics department. Coaches play an extremely influential and unique role in the lives of young men. As a result, they have the power to positively influence how their athletes think and behave on and off the field. CBIM is a program in which coaches teach athletes healthy relationship skills and confront the idea of toxic masculinity by teaching that violence never equals strength. This program was part of a study that was extremely successful in its outcome.
IMPACT Colorado is a program designed to teach students and faculty how to effectively set boundaries and firmly deny unwanted sexual advances. The goal of the program is to prevent sexual assault and teach students proper communication. Women within our present day society are often taught that they have to be kind and must never firmly say “no” so they often try to work around saying the word “no”. IMPACT is designed as an empowerment workshop that teaches students how to effectively set boundaries and say “no”. While IMPACT does offer classes outside that involve more physical intervention (parents should be made aware of these classes), they have an “EMPOWERMENT School” workshop that is extremely effective. Additionally, statistics have shown that the most vulnerable time for a woman to be sexually assaulted is her freshman year of college. IMPACT offers a college prep class that is 16-20 hours before women leave to college which could be incorporated in 12th grade across BVSD.