Let’s Get Educated: Healthy Relationships, Sexual Assault and Harassment, and Consent
Resources for Students and Families
Content Warning: These links and words can bring up potential triggers.
Last week, on November 9, 2021, during a regular board meeting student walkouts, took center stage during public comment. That week in high schools across the district and across the Bay, students were heard loud and clear – When it comes to addressing sexual harassment (SA/SH) and assault, they want us to involve them.
There was a lot of public comment from students about how the district responds (or fails to respond) to SH/SA in our schools. What we are witnessing now is the second wave of students advocating for safe, harassment-free schools. Recent SFUSD alumni also called in to let us know that despite all of the emotions and experiences that were shared in past years, little progress was made. As former Student Representative Shavonne Hines-Foster stated, “the hidden games need to end”.
One thing is clear — students want and need more education about healthy relationships, consent, and sexual assault prevention. We should all be pushing for this in all our K-12 curriculum. (I have been calling for this for over five years.)
During public comment, it was also a pleasure to hear from students at MLK middle school about how important the Peer Resource program is for them. They were concerned that their programs may be cut and wanted Board leadership to know just how important their programs are in teaching leadership and listening skills and having fun along the way. Listen to their voices.
Students mentioned SF Peer Resources helps students to fight for their safety, fight oppression and educate their peers. A Washington social studies teacher also called in to make the connection that the Peer Resource Program in their school is a program that could potentially solve a lot of the problems we have been discussing regarding Sexual Harassment and Assault (SH/SA).
Supporting Peer Resources seems like a no-brainer. As I mentioned in a prior post, I worked with students on this topic in my role as a Peer Resource Coordinator at Everett Middle School many years back.
Talking with our kids about healthy relations and sexual assault prevention
I have asked President Lopez to agendize this topic at a special meeting of the Board, and to work with Student Delegates to convene Town Halls on this issue to allow for more student voice. While we continue to support student advocacy around this issue, it becomes clear that families have an important role as well. While we collectively push for more education around healthy relationships, consent, and sexual assault prevention in our schools, there is nothing stopping us from taking on this important discussion with our children.
The following is a list of resources to do just that, shared by Ruth Asawa School of the Arts (RASOTA) administration:
@StandingupagainstSA — SF Resource Link List
This is a link list of San Francisco resources and organizations. It includes:
- A link to visit if you or someone you know has become a survivor of SA/ any kind of abuse to look at their options and get help.
- What is consent? What is sexual assault and rape? What is the difference? How to know when you or a someone you know has been a victim.
- More about sexual assault and it’s impact on survivors.
- What is sexual coercion?
- What is intimate partner sexual violence?
- Types of Violence
- Self-Care After Trauma
- How can therapy help?
- Accessible programs and counseling
- LGBTQIA+ Community Resources
- Resources for those who are Trans
- What to know if reporting to law enforcement
- What to expect when reporting to law enforcement and/or filing a police report
- Filing Police Reports in SF
- Restraining orders & court information
- Requesting a restraining order in CA
- Planned Parenthood
- Homeless Prenatal ( accessible reproductive health assistance)
- Cervical health and reproductive health
- Domestic violence resources
- Asian Woman’s Shelter
- WAR (resource for women)
- La Casa De Las Madres
Talking to Our Children about Sexual Harassment and Consent — Planned Parenthood
This is an online resource outlining ways to fit discussions of sexual harassment into conversations with your kids. Advice includes ways to respond to your child saying “But it’s just a joke!” or “Why didn’t they just leave, or say something, or tell them to stop?”
Can #MeToo Change the Culture of High Schools?
This video in the Above The Noise series can help adults get educated on the ways conversations have shifted for the better since the time we were in school. It could also serve as a talking point to stop conversations with our kids. Here is the description for the video:
“Students are leading #metoo movements around the world in their high schools, demanding an end to sexual assault and harassment. But can this activism actually change rape culture?”
‘Girls & Sex’ And The Importance Of Talking To Young Women About Pleasure
This NPR interview with Peggy Orenstein talks to Heard on Fresh Air about her book of the same name. From the
“Author Peggy Orenstein says that when it comes to sexuality, girls today are receiving mixed messages. Girls hear that “they’re supposed to be sexy, they’re supposed to perform sexually for boys,” Orenstein tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross, “but that their sexual pleasure is unspoken.”
While researching her new book, Girls & Sex, Orenstein spoke with more than 70 young women between the ages of 15 and 20 about their attitudes and early experiences with the full range of physical intimacy.”
Take a listen, then buy the book.
We Will Not Cancel UsAnd Other Dreams of Transformative Justice — adrienne maree brown
A Book outlining an approach to achieve transformative justice in ways that heal our community. Here is a testimonial about the book:
““As someone who wrote ‘kill your rapist’ on every surface I could find in the 90’s and then went on to find other nonviolent solutions for transformation, We Will Not Cancel Us brings me face to face with my innermost conflicts about transformative justice. How do we align anger, believing and supporting survivors, with a values-based daily practice of accountability for those who harm us? How do we, as a loving community, stay with the necessary questions of abolition when we are aching for the pain and trauma to stop? In this book, adrienne maree brown gives us the space to sit with our discomfort and honors our process as a growing abolitionists. She gives us points to struggle with so that we can continue on our journey to the next best version of our community, our practice, our politics, and ourselves.”—Shira Hassan, co-author of Fumbling Toward Repair: A Workbook for Community Accountability Facilitators“
RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline
Call RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) in English and Spanish and chat in English online. http://online.RAINN.org and chat in Spanish at http://RAINN.org/es.