In order to reduce sexual violence within our community, The PICS (Prevention Initiatives in Community and Schools) program at CADA (The Committee Against Domestic Abuse) works with youth, and the adults in their lives, to provide accurate information about healthy relationships and healthy sexualities, to offer opportunities to practice the skills necessary to maintain this health, and to connect them with appropriate resources in their schools and in other youth-serving organizations.
The PICS program aims to reduce incidences of sexual violence in our community. In working to achieve that goal, we are building protective environments for gender and sexually diverse (GSD) youth not only by educating this specific group about healthy sexuality and relationships, but also by educating their non-GSD peers and the adults in their lives about embracing the complexity of gender and sexuality, maintaining healthy relationships, identifying sexual exploitation, utilizing bystander intervention techniques, and accessing community resources. Through collaboration with the organizations that serve youth, and with the youth themselves, the PICS program also aims to create sustainable pathways in our community for youth to continue accessing this essential information and to have ample opportunities to practice the skills necessary to build a dynamic community that supports survivors and is dedicated to preventing sexual violence before it happens.
Partnerships with youth-serving organizations are essential in the efforts to create protective environments. These relationships take time and intention.
Youth must be involved in creating and providing feedback in the programs that exist to serve them. Without the voices of youth leaders backing us up, messaging geared towards young people will fall flat.
Education is only one piece of preventing sexual violence within our community. Continued efforts to offer opportunities for practicing skills, have ongoing conversations with youth about their lived experiences, and to gather feedback from both the service providers and the youth they serve regarding facilitation of curricula, program messaging, and other initiatives will be key in maintaining a sustainable prevention program that resonates with the community.
Why It’s Needed
The Reach Youth Drop-In Center
District 77 Schools
- Mankato East High School
- Mankato West High School
- Dakota Meadows Middle School
- Prairie Winds Middle School