Our Solutions to Violence programs provide empowerment-based services to strengthen and support survivors of intimate partner abuse, sexual assault, and human trafficking crimes. We also provide prevention and education services for groups, schools, and the community about child abuse prevention and teen assault awareness.
HEALTHY TEENS RELATIONSHIPS CAMPAIGN
of South Santa Clara County 2015
On March 28, 2015, Community Solutions in partnership with Kaiser Permanente in the Community and Santa Clara County’s Public Health Department will be hosting the first Love is Respect Conference at Christopher High School in Gilroy. The conference is geared toward preventing teen dating violence and is open to teens and adults in Morgan Hill, Gilroy, and San Martin.
Throughout the community, we have recruited strong leaders and have trained them to organize the Love is Respect Conference. Our youth leaders will work in partnership with adult community leaders to host the Love is Respect Conference. The conference will educate youth and adults in creating healthy relationships.
Sexual assault and domestic violence are significant problems in the Gilroy Area. In 2013, the Santa Clara County District Attorney filed the highest number of domestic violence cases in the county in our 95020 zip code. One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence. Therefore, we have made it our mission as the youth leaders to lower that rate of violence through educating the youth and adult population on how to utilize available resources, how to advocate for a healthy relationship, and how to overcome domestic violence to form a stronger community as a whole. If we can work together as a community, together we can help to eradicate domestic violence and help everyone toward having healthy relationships.
School-Based Prevention Services
In Touch With Teens: Healthy Relationships Prevention Curriculum
We are currently providing In Touch With Teens, an evidence-informed healthy relationships prevention curriculum, at Briton Middle School, Live Oak High School and Christopher High School to over 1000 students.
The In Touch With Teens healthy relationships prevention curriculum will be presented by Community Solutions. The program will one hour each week for the duration of 8-10 weeks. The program will have two staff facilitating conversations and interactive learning exercises around identifying unhealthy relationships, sexual harassment, and creating healthy relationships.
Community Solutions’ Solutions to Violence Division promotes awareness and understanding of intimate partner violence, sexual assault and child abuse. We have provided Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) and Teen Assault Awareness Program (TAAP) programming since 1983 in Santa Clara and San Benito Counties. For the past two years, Community Solutions has utilized the In Touch With Teens curriculum in local high schools. Evaluations of the programs have shown that students are able to apply the skills they learned in class to intervene with fellow classmates, increase in self-esteem, and develop a better understanding of healthy relationships.
As a result of the In Touch with Teens healthy relationships prevention curriculum teens will:
1. Help to define and identify healthy relationships;
2. Recognize the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship;
3. Learn problem-solving skills surrounding relationship (intimate or
4. Target roots of low self-esteem and develop measures toward
building stronger esteem; and
5. Recognize their responsibilities as bystanders and learn how to
advocate for violence-free relationships.
March: Child Sexual Abuse
It is appalling to know that child sexual abuse persists in this modern age. Statistics state that about 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused as children. Child sexual abuse is defined as any touching or non-touching sexual activity between a child and an adult, adolescent, or older child. This can include inappropriate touching of genitalia or private areas, rape, forced exposure to pornography, and/or child pornography. The effects of this abuse can be devastating. If the abuse is not addressed, the effects can appear as substance abuse, eating disorders and suicide attempts; as well as putting the individual at an increased risk for other harmful behaviors.
Parents and guardians can be significant allies in the prevention of child sexual abuse. It is never too early to begin having conversations with children. First, talk about the difference between good and bad secrets. Ask them to define what they think a secret is. Use real examples like: “If I told you that we’re going to have a cake for your friend, but to keep it a secret, is that a good or bad secret?” A good secret is one that doesn’t hurt anyone. However, remind children that if a secret makes them feel uncomfortable they can talk to a trusted adult. If that adult does not believe them, ensure they know to never stop telling until someone believes them.
Another conversation to have with children is about good and bad touches. For young children, this can be as simple as identifying their private areas. Let children know that no one should touch their private areas without their consent. Plan what they should do if someone makes them feel uncomfortable, tries to touch or touches them. This can range from telling the child to leave the room to utilizing a loud yell. Actions like hugs or kisses are also important to talk about. Children may not always feel comfortable bestowing such affection. By ensuring that the child knows they have the right to choose when to give hugs or kisses gives her/him a feeling of empowerment that can follow them throughout their life.
Murphy, G. (2002). Toward a movement to prevent child sexual abuse. Ms. foundation for women. Retrieved from http://forwomen.org/files/documents/csa%20documents/Toward%20a%20Movement%20to%20Prevent%20Child%20Sexual%20Abuse.pdf