As part of the #SVYALit Project, we have spent a lot of time compiling statistics and looking for resources to help us talk with teens, parents, educators and librarians about the issues. Today we are compiling some of the best resources we have found to help create a well rounded picture of the issues at hand and how various members of the community are trying to help make a difference in this very important issue. Here are several resources you can consult to get a more complete picture of what sexual violence is, how often it happens, and how we can talk with teens about making healthy sexual choices.
RAINN is the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. This is the go to resource for information on sexual violence and they operate a 24 hour helpline that you can refer victims/survivors to for help and support.
ScarletTeen is a website dedicated to providing real and accurate sex education to teens. They cover a wide variety of topics, including menstruation and pregnancy. This is not just a resource on sexual violence, it is a resource for comprehensive sex and health education. But they also have discussion on things like how guys can prevent rape, what sexual violence is, and navigating consent.
In particular, The Good Men Project has a good discussion about teaching consent at various ages as a child grows (this refers to a piece called The Healthy Sex Talk: Teaching Kids Consent ages 1 through 21 which I believe originally appeared on Everyday Feminism). This isn’t a conversation you should wait to have when your kids are teens, because you begin laying the foundation early on as you teach your child they can’t take things that don’t belong to them, they have to wait their turn, etc. A Mighty Girl is a somewhat similar type of initiative aimed at empowering girls, they have a resource list of books to help tweens and teens talk about their bodies.
Street Harassment covers things like catcalling, whistling, and other forms of harassment that mostly women and members of the GLBTQ community experience as they walk down the streets. I would argue that it also includes the same types of harassment that our teens experience in the hallways of their middle and high schools, because those are the streets are teens are walking. I get email often from – again, mostly girls – who share the horrific stories of the verbal abuse and unwanted touching they experience on the way to and from school or in the school hallways. SSH has some great resources to understand what street harassment is and to engage in discussions on how to try and change the culture so that everyone can walk through their daily routine safely. Another great initiative that is addressing the issue of street harassment is HollaBack.
This resource has a look at what healthy sexuality is. It includes the WHO definition of sexual health which is defined as “a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality. It requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence.” This resource is important because it helps us all set up the goal posts. In our sex education with teens, this is what we are (should be) striving for.
This fully developed curriculum helps teens define date rape and looks at some of the identifying traits of an abusive relationship. It contains discussion questions, curriculum connections and more. It is part of the AIMS series, published in 2002. The CDC also has a Rape Prevention and Education resource and curriculum that you may want to look at.
According the The Consensual Project’s website, the project partners with schools to help teens gain a deep understanding of what consent is. The consent workshops were developed by Ben, who majored in Women and Gender studies. It seems fairly new, so do take a look around and investigate. Also, it has a great resource page.
The Pennsyvania Coalition Against Rape has developed an extensive curriculum to help teach students in grades K-12 about sexual harassment. At 261 pages, it is pretty extensive and well developed. You can download it for free in PDF by clicking the link above.
Know the Price is a campaign recently introduced in San Diego which aims to help teens understand that having sex with someone who is intoxicated is in fact rape. Its underlying message is that a person must be cognitively able to consent in order for it to be consensual sex. This means that you can not have sex with someone who is wasted, unconscious, asleep, etc.
According to its website: “The Voices and Faces Project is an award-winning documentary initiative created to bring the names, faces and stories of survivors of sexual violence and trafficking to the attention of the public.” By compiling the various stories of survivors in a permanent archive, The Voices and Faces Project seeks to help everyone better understand the issues surrounding sexual violence and the impact it makes on survivors, their families and their communities.
Project Unbreakable is a Tumblr blog that operates primarily on anonymous submissions from sexual violence victims/survivors. The submissions are pictures of survivors sharing with us what their abuser said to them before, during or after their attack. They are definitely hard to read but such an important part of raising awareness and understanding of the dynamics that take place. There are quite a few Tumblr blogs dedicated to the topic including I Believe You, It’s Not Your Fault, which was recently discussed on NPR’s The Takeaway. Both of these Tumblr projects are run by survivors and encourage the named or anonymous submissions of other survivor stories.