Through the collaboration of Whole Health Outreach, Casa Guadalupe Domestic Violence Shelter, and Reynolds County Health Center, Emily Pogue (WHO), Educator, and Frances Vermillion (RCHC), Program Manager, two educational opportunities are available to our area youth in Carter, Iron, Madison, Reynolds, Shannon, and Wayne County for sexual violence primary prevention education.
Promoting Healthy Relationships: Ending Dating/Sexual Violence A Primary Prevention Curriculum is a two day curriculum that educates 5th and 6th grade students about the elements of healthy friendships and relationships and communication skills along with the different types of abuse, cycle of violence, warning signs of both abusers and victims, and general safety tips.
Safe Dates: An Adolescent Dating Abuse Prevention Curriculum is a 4 to 6 session program geared towards 7th to 12th grade students. Classes focus on defining healthy relationships, defining dating abuse, who is abused, how to help friends, anger and equal communication, and preventing dating sexual abuse. This program is nationally recognized as an evidence-based program with strong, long-term outcomes.
The team's goal is to move towards a social change of where our youth can begin dating relationships with knowledge of their rights to an equal and respectful relationship with the knowledge of their responsibility to respect those rights of whom they date.
The curriculums have been implemented in all 18 school districts in our six county service area; Carter, Iron, Madison, Reynolds, Shannon, and Wayne Counties. In addition, Emily and Frances have outreached to the youth facilities of Valley Springs Youth Ranch, Sierra Osage, and Sears Youth Center. All classes are offered free of charge.
Together, Emily and Frances, have reached a over 10,000 individuals.
Emily and Frances have also formed a Sexual Assault Prevention Team that provides involvement and education with schools, churches, parents, local public health agencies, health professionals, law enforcement, victim advocacy services, civic organizations, criminal justice, and social services. These partnerships have been formed through capacity building activities that develop community infrastructure to prevent sexual assault. Each community partner gets an individual copy of the CDCís Sexual Violence: Beginning the Dialogue, which outlines strategies for preventing violence through a public health approach.
An Advisory Committee supports a comprehensive public health approach to prevention. The committee addresses individual risks and norms, beliefs, and social factors that create the conditions for sexual assault to occur.
These programs are a wonderful opportunity to educate and empower our preteens and teens and their communities to advocate for healthy relationships, nonviolence, and help others reach the resources they need.
Francie and Emily are also Authorized Facilitator's for Darkness to Light's Stewards of Children evaluation-based program. The programs' focus is to hold adults responsible for protecting children from child sexual abuse. It is a 2 to 2.5 hour program, with CEUs available for those professionals needing them. Each participant receives a certificate of attendance, an interactive workbook, 7 Steps to Protecting Your Children booklet, and a resource list for the appropriate county. For anyone interested, individuals and organizations can contact Francie and Emily to set it up. Cost per participant is $10 to cover the cost of materials only. To residents of Reynolds County the cost is free due to a generous grant from the Reynolds County Educational Enrichment Fund.