Department of Health receives funding for rape prevention training in schools

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Mississippi State Department of Health issued a press release stating they have received funding for rape prevention training to take place in middle schools and high schools throughout the state.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention awarded $15,750 to the Department of Health’s Office Against Interpersonal Violence. The additional funding will help support Mississippi’s 10 Rape Crisis Centers in participating in the “Safe Dates” training program.
“Safe Dates” is designed to teach students the difference between a healthy and abusive relationship. The program aims to help young people identify dating abuse so they can help themselves and their friends who are in toxic relationships. The training also focuses on positive communication skills and anger management.
Researchers for “Safe Dates” claim that in the five years after students completed the training, the group that participated in the program will have fewer occurrences of rape than the group that did not.
The release states that this program, funded by the CDC, has lead to a drastic 56 to 92 percent decrease in dating violence.
“Prevention is more than teaching a female safety tips, it’s about changing attitudes and social norms that support sexual violence and sexist attitudes,” Heather Wagner, Director of the Office Against Interpersonal Violence, said in the release.
It’s a problem that warrants attention. The release states that adults who use violence with their domestic partners often start these habits in their adolescence. Studies show that 59 percent of students who are currently dating have experienced physical violence in a relationship, and 96 percent have suffered from psychological or emotional abuse, according to the release.

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