At The Blue Bench, we believe that how we educate our youth today is the basis for how we, as a community, respond to sexual violence tomorrow.
The ultimate goal of sexual violence prevention programming is to stop it from occurring, which means we need to address factors contributing to it at every level – individual, relationship, community and society. The Blue Bench provides prevention programming in order to ensure every member of our community is empowered to intervene in risky or sexually violent situations, support survivors, and change social norms that blame, silence or minimize the impacts of sexual assault.
Fostering a healthy community is not just about providing support in the aftermath of an assault; it’s about supporting the healthy emotional development of those who make up our community.
Prevention is teaching our children about consent and healthy relationships from a young age. Prevention is training community members to identify and challenge victim blaming and rape culture. Prevention is empowering citizens and service providers alike to start by believing, and to use survivor-centered responses when dealing with sexual violence. Prevention gives the community confidence to intervene in situations and conversations that promote sexual violence. Prevention is the recognition that we all have a role in creating a healthy community free from sexual violence.