The goal of Mutual Ground's Prevention Team is to provide all students and the adults in their lives the tools needed to break the cycle of domestic and sexual violence through education – focusing on personal safety and body ownership, understanding different types of violence, identifying healthy behaviors and relationships, and strategies for recognizing unsafe situations and obtaining help.
Starting from bottom left:
Natilie Land, Naomi Cain, Corina Quinonez, Tiffany Talley
Starting from top left:
Kate Cason, Brian Scott, Tina Bleakley, Desiree Obert
Not pictured: Kass Gonzalez, Ari Valdez
Talking with your child about abuse can be uncomfortable, but we're here to help! This website is designed to help parents talk with their children of all ages about bodily autonomy and consent. Internalizing the importance of personal boundaries and permission are essential to the prevention of sexual abuse. Parents play the most important role in their child's education by demonstrating these concepts in daily life and maintaining an open and honest dialogue with their children. Unfortunately, abuse can still happen, despite everyone's best efforts and is not the fault of anyone other than the abuser. Additionally, it is just as important for parents to know how to help their child after abuse as it is to try and prevent it. A parent's response and follow-up to a child's abuse disclosure will impact the child's ability to process and recover after abuse. For any additional questions, further assistance or support, navigate to our "Contact Us" page above.
Respect and bodily autonomy are important concepts to be internalized by people of all ages. For younger children, this translates into "personal body safety." All children should understand that no one has a right to touch their body in ways that hurt them or make them feel uncomfortable. Children have the right to say "no" to giving or receiving unwanted touches and have their voices be respected. By educating children on these key concepts, as well as how to get help when someone breaks the safety rule, the values of boundaries and consent are instilled at a young age. We know that teaching consent to young people is one way we can prevent sexual violence in the future.
During a time when children's bodies and minds are growing and evolving beyond their control, teaching youth about consent and bodily autonomy is essential. Sexual harassment is common in middle schools as youth start to recognize and explore their changing appearances and emotions. Sexual harassment is illegal in schools because of the harm it causes for those bullied in this way and often for those around them. Teaching the principles of consent is essential to preventing sexual violence in schools, online, and in adulthood.
Educating teens on the principles of consent and the law is essential to protecting them from misconduct and even illegal activity. As they approach the age of legal consent for sexual activity and potentially experience increasing pressures to become sexually active, teens must internalize their right to have their personal boundaries respected. They should understand state and federal laws regarding consent to physical and electronic sexual behaviors. They should also understand how to get help when they feel hurt or disrespected, and also how to safely stand up for others when needed.