John Howard Society of Sudbury

Centre for Youth Diversion

New Sexual Assault Prevention Program

The overarching goal of this new prevention program is to inform students in grade 6 , 7 and 8 and early high school years about the consequences, both criminal and moral, of crimes of sexual nature and to prevent sexual crimes.

With the latest research showing an increasing amount of sexual violence victims and offenders being under the age of 18 in Canada, this research highlights the importance of a prevention program for Sudbury-area elementary school students. Sexual charges on the weekly youth court charges now number over 50% of all youth charges being dealt with.  We will educate to prevent further crimes by providing these youth with information and tools to improve personal and community safety.

Program facilitators will discuss personal values held by youth within the group. The importance of having awareness of values in their own lives will be stressed upon.

There will be a discussion about aspects of healthy relationships as a youth. There will also be an emphasis put on the topic of building and maintaining healthy relationships within their peer group. Program facilitators will address common misinformation the youth will have about sexual offences including violent offences and consequences of perpetrators and victims (e.g.  What it is, the frequency of it occurring, who is targeted and affected, who perpetrates this offence and how).

The program facilitators will teach the youth about valid consent. The teaching will revolve around the fact that the optimal way to obtain consent is through explicit, verbal communication with a partner in any situation. They will also be addressing the dangers and risks associated with sharing and distributing nude photos.

The program will use both the cognitive behavioural and Piaget models of education.  Research shows that these two models when used in conjunction with each other yield the best results for youth at the 12-14 year age level of retaining and incorporating the material being taught.

Referrals from police, schools, youth probation and youth court are welcome.