Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $250,000)
The King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC) believes that all children deserve to live happy and safe lives, free from sexual violence. However, of the 15,618 students currently enrolled in the Renton School District (RSD), an estimated 3,167 will be victims of sexual assault before their 18th birthday. If left without meaningful support, these victims are much more likely to experience long-term negative health outcomes—such as substance abuse, depression, and PTSD—than their peers. It doesn’t have to be this way. With access to holistic victim support services, student survivors of sexual assault can heal from trauma and lead full, healthy lives. Future violence is also preventable. Research indicates that participation in comprehensive violence prevention programming can reduce the likelihood that a person will perpetrate sexual assault. That is why KCSARC is seeking funding to support Making Prevention Possible (MPP), a multi-year, multi-strategy sexual assault response and prevention program within the two schools located in Renton, WA: Dimmitt Middle School (DMS) and Renton High School (RHS).
Research shows that effective sexual violence prevention programs engage students in ongoing learning opportunities focused on topics such as consent and healthy relationships. MPP will implement yearly classroom-based prevention sessions with all students at DMS and RHS. Students will begin lessons as part of their 6th grade health curriculum and—because 97% of DMS students continue on to RHS after 8th grade—continue receiving programming every school year through grade 12. This program design will allow students to interact with the material in new ways as they mature and will help RMS and HHS meet Washington’s new sexual health education requirements. Additionally, MPP staff will engage teachers/school staff and parents/caregivers in a series of educational opportunities focused on deepening the entire school community’s understanding of sexual assault and violence prevention efforts. As a result of this work, students, parents/caregivers, and teachers/school staff at both partner schools will experience a measurable increase in understanding of sexual assault, how to support survivors, and how to prevent future violence.