May 28, Bend Nest » Health.
T he idea of your baby one day being old enough to date can be a bitter pill to swallow. But, as adolescence approaches, visions of young men with flowers and innocent pecks on the cheek goodnight at the door, make the whole courtship scenario a bit more palatable. Unfortunately, statistics don't support this pleasant picture.
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With 15, middle and high school students in Deschutes County, Menz, who is a part-time employee at Saving Grace, has her work cut out for her. Even with the limited amount of time allotted, Menz manages to visit many high school health classrooms at least once, and in some cases up to three times throughout the school year.
The Violence Prevention Curriculum. Along with educating students, Menz's presentation also provides teens with an invaluable tool kit for taking action against violence.
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Topics are addressed through a multifaceted curriculum that includes presentations with an interactive story model, in which students are plunged into the lives of fictional kids their age dating with issues of consent, healthy and unhealthy relationships, sexual assault, victim blaming and bystander intervention. Additionally, the program includes the viewing of a documentary covering a sexual assault case at a college and the aftermath that follows, and small group discussions on the topic.
As for the program's success, Menz explains, "While it would take a true longitudinal study to assess the impact of the program on future relationships, our evaluations show that over 95 percent of youth said they learned to recognize the important aspects of a healthy relationship, recognize warning s of an unhealthy relationship, know new ways to help a friend in an abusive relationship and learned something expecations will help them feel safe in their dating relationships.
With society's general discomfort around discussing sexual violence and abusive relationships, giving adolescents words for these issues is the first step to overcoming them. According to Menz, the ultimate Bend is to redefine abuse and violence for as many young people as possible.
She says, "We hope students introduced to our curriculum can begin to unlearn unhealthy societal expectations of boys and girls so that everyone can live freely and without violence. There's One Way to Push Back.
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Saving grace addresses teen relationships & violence prevention in deschutes county
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