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The Alliance has compiled a number of resources available for survivors, their friends and families, and professionals assisting survivors in New York City.

Policy Priority: Schools/Youth

In 2006-2007 the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault (the Alliance) and the Columbia University Center for Youth Violence Prevention (CCYVP) at the Mailman School of Public Health with funding from the New York City Council and the Centers for Disease Control surveyed 1,312 youth in four public high schools in New York City on the topics of sexual and dating violence. The goals of this study were to establish baseline data on the prevalence and nature of sexual and dating violence in New York City area schools, including information on perpetration of sexual and dating violence, disclosure of violence, the degree of association with exposure to community violence and the degree of mutual participation in partner violence with the aim of developing effective intervention and prevention programs for youth. The study found that 16.2% or more than 1 in 6 students surveyed reported experiencing sexual violence at some point in their lives. Of these youth, 10.1% reported experiencing non-partner sexual violence (sexual abuse or forced sex), and 14.1% reported experiencing sexual violence from a dating partner.

Additionally, qualitative information was gained from the PhotoVoice project—a youth-led participatory action research project that trained local youth to articulate the effects of sexual violence on their lives and avenues for prevention through photography. Both the research results and the Photovoice project called for the following recommendations:
  • Schools and programs that work with youth should include a focus on primary prevention
  • Teens should have access to youth-friendly referral information
  • Professionals should be trained on how to properly handle disclosures and refer youth to services.
  • Schools must be provided with technical assistance to help analyze their current reporting structure regarding incidents of sexual and dating violence. They must develop a working reporting and referral system, with a monitoring and evaluation system put in place to review how incidents of sexual and dating violence are being handled in the school system.

Actions:

  • Continue to disseminate the information from Partners and Peers and Youth PhotoVoice to students, the public, and policy makers.
  • Continue to disseminate the Teen Health Map, a youth-friendly resources on services after a sexual assault
  • Work with the DOE on improving training to professionals
  • Advocate for better response and prevention in schools and youth serving agencies.


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"Alone at Last" By Hector