The Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation

Sexual Abuse Prevention Initiative: Building Safe and Thriving Communities for Youth

Grant Information
Categories Peace , Healthcare , Education , Community
Location United States
Cycle Year 2019
Organization Information
Organization Name (provided by applicant) Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (ACESDV)
Organization Name (provided by automatic EIN validation)
Contact Information
Contact Name Dr. Tasha menaker
Phone 602-279-2900 x426
2700 N. Central Ave
Suite 1100
Additional Information
Used for ACESDV will provide evidence-based sexual abuse prevention education to young people and parents in Arizona. Training will empower parents with the tools to have conversations with their kids about preventing sexual abuse and promoting healthy relationships, and equip youth with information about recognizing and reporting abuse and understanding consent.
Benefits This money will benefit the world because it will contribute to preventing and ending sexual violence, which has reached epidemic levels. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced contact sexual violence in their lifetimes. This funding will assist in decreasing those numbers.
Proposal Description The project goal is to protect children and youth from adult and peer-perpetrated sexual abuse through the provision of sexual abuse prevention education to youth and parents in Arizona. This is directly in line with our mission to end sexual and domestic violence in Arizona by dismantling oppression and promoting equity among all people. Sexual abuse prevention training has been demonstrated to decrease rates of perpetration and victimization among middle and high school aged youth (NSVRC, 2014), increase the ability to recognize and disclose unwanted sexual contact among youth (Rudolph et al., 2017), and equip parents to identify indicators of abuse and respond appropriately (Rudolph et al., 2017).
Sexual violence is a significant public health concern that has devastating impacts on young people and their families. According to the Crimes Against Children Research Center (2018), nearly 1 in 3 U.S. youth ages 14-17 have experienced sexual abuse. Sexual abuse from adults and peers is associated with many negative short and long-term outcomes, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, and cognitive impairment (SAMHSA, 2018). The severity of these outcomes can be increased if victims are not believed or are blamed upon disclosure. Risk factors for sexual abuse victimization include lack of understanding about bodily autonomy, consent, sexual health, and healthy relationships. Adult perpetrators often exploit deficits in knowledge in these areas to manipulate young victims into believing the abuse is actually “love” or “education” (Colton et al., 2012). In addition, youth who are unfamiliar with characteristics of healthy, respectful relationships and consent may engage in harmful sexual behaviors toward peers (CDC, 2016). Therefore, a necessary strategy to prevent sexual abuse is through education and awareness about consent, healthy relationships, sexual health, and sensitive responses to disclosures (CDC, 2016). Unfortunately, there is a significant lack of sexual abuse prevention education available in Arizona, particularly for adolescents, and no comprehensive training available in Maricopa County, which is our most populous county. This proposal seeks to address this gap by providing free, evidence-based sexual abuse prevention training to Arizona parents and youth ages 11-17.
This project will involve the provision of two training curricula, one for youth and one for parents. ACESDV conducts age-appropriate, evidence-based sexual abuse prevention trainings for parents and middle and high school aged youth. We frequently receive requests from schools and community members for these trainings, but do not receive federal or state funding for this work. Therefore, we are dependent on foundation grants and donations to maintain this program. If awarded, funding will help to sustain this critical work and protect hundreds of youth in Arizona from sexual abuse. Funding will be used for the time and travel of ACESDV’s Sexual Violence Response Manager and Sexual Violence Response Coordinator, who will be promoting and conducting trainings for parents and youth in schools and the community in 2020. We have existing connections with community partners working with youth and families, school districts in Maricopa County, and multi-district high school prevention coalitions through which we will promote the training.
In the short-term, it is anticipated that approximately 500 Arizonan youth ages 11-17 will receive education on sexual violence prevention, developing healthy relationships, consent, and how to access resources and support following victimization. In addition, approximately 100 Arizonan parents will receive education on the dynamics of sexual violence, recognizing indicators of abuse, talking with children/youth about healthy relationships and sexuality, and appropriately responding to disclosures. Based on pre/posttests, it is expected that youth and parents will demonstrate an average 25% increase in knowledge about sexual violence prevention, healthy relationships, and talking to youth about these issues. The potential long-term outcomes of this project include increased capacity to recognize and respond to sexual violence among parents and youth, and a decrease in incidents of violence overall.