Posted by: joshjasper | February 18, 2009

It takes a village….and then some!

Members of the Sioux Falls, South Dakota community recently reached out to me to provide a training to their community on the prevalence of sexual violence along with effective prevention strategies.  As always, I am very excited to share the success that the Riverview Center has achieved in our work of providing survivors of sexual violence services along with carrying out prevention methods that involve the entire community.

Historically, violence prevention strategies have had too narrow of a focus.  Saturating  elementary and middle schools with violence prevention programs has often thought to have been the most comprehensive strategy.   This form of prevention is most certainly necessary but is by no means the end all.  What about the parents of those children?  How about the teachers that work with those students everyday?  Have we also forgotten about the high schools, colleges, businesses, churches, medical providers, and law enforcement agencies?
Have they no influence on our lives, or our abilities to truly change the norms and beliefs that often reinforce violence against women and children?

Just in the few conversations I have been fortunate to have with the Sioux Falls community, one thing is certain.  And that certainty is that they most certainly “get it.”  They get that to truly change something that has been so normalized in our lives that we no longer recognize its existence, we must involve the entire community.  This is what our work is about at the Riverview Center and specifically what our vision states.  “We are creating a community free of sexual violence.”  Lately, that “community” has been growing by leaps and bounds.

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