Youth Action Council
The Youth Action Council (YAC) is a leadership model developed by the Alliance to cultivate youth as leaders in preventing sexual and dating violence among their peers. Our youth leadership model has three main elements designed to encourage participation and skill development, involving young people in decision-making and leadership.
1. Education about the dynamics and root causes of sexual and dating violence, and facilitation and discussions about how this issue impacts the lives of young people in NYC.
2. Teaching skills that will enable youth to educate and facilitate discussions among their peers about sexual and dating violence and their experiences.
3. Development of leadership skills so youth can take action on the issue of sexual and dating violence.
In addition to building leadership skills, their involvement also encourages civic responsibility and community service, helping young people to feel valued by addressing issues important to them. Young people highlighted that they want to be a part of the YAC because they can make a difference in the lives of their peers; they want to help end sexual violence among youth, they want to voice teens’ concerns, and they want to raise awareness about these issues.
“I wanted to be a part of YAC because it will help be a way to not only voice certain issues amongst teens, but also a way to help find solutions. I think this is also a great opportunity for me to further build my leadership skills while gaining new ones.” – Anastasia Ramirez, YAC member
“I wanted to be a part of YAC because I find sexual assault a serious problem all over the world and I’d like to help the cause.” – Mahfug Hossain, YAC member
A shocking 1 in 5 women has experience rape in their lifetime and 79.6% were raped before the age of 25, while 27.8% of male victims experienced their first rape when they were 10 years of age or younger. The statistics indicate that youth are far and above the highest risk group for sexual assault. To address this issue, the Alliance has partnered with organizations that support six marginalized communities to launch a city-wide media campaign led by youth, ages 13 to 18.
Our partner organizations include Black Women’s Blueprint, The Arab American Family Support Center, New York Asian Women Center, The Point, South Asian Youth Action (SAYA) and the Anti-Violence Project (AVP).
Despite incidents of sexual violence, there are several factors that contribute to underreporting in communities of color, including: stigma, taboos around discussing the issue and the fear of bringing the attention of law enforcement to the community.
The #NoTeenSV Campaign aims to raise awareness, offer assistance and educate young community members and the adults in their lives about social norms that contribute to teen sexual violence through community-specific and culturally sensitive public media messaging.
#NoTeenSV aligns with the Alliance’s policy strategy to overcome the disparities in access to sexual assault information and services in NYC.