River City has a variety of educational programs available to create awareness of family violence and to create efforts to prevent family violence in our community. If you/your group would like a presentation on family violence or the mission of River City, please contact us.
River City takes pride in the prevention programs we offer for school age children. The following programs are available to local schools.
Love Doesn't Hurt
“Love Doesn’t Hurt” presentation and drawing contest is targeted for fifth-graders. This contest is open to all area fifth-graders that participate in this education presentation. “Love Doesn’t Hurt” is a 30-45 minute program that discusses:
-Discussion of various types of families and family conflict -Definition of Bullying -Discussion of similarities between bullying and abuse -Introduction of safety plan for children HELP (hide, exit, lock, phone) -Discussion of services provided by the YWCC -Drawing rules and contest
The students are asked to draw a picture based on our discussion and we help them with ideas. The actual drawing can be done at school or at home, whichever works best for your school. A panel of judges selects the contest winners and the prizes will be savings bonds. Area banks have been generous in donating the savings bonds. We will announce the deadline after scheduling the presentations so everyone has an opportunity to participate.
Success Story:I can't tell you how many times that students have shared during the presentation or, in private, after the presentation that they have stayed in a shelter, their mother is currently in an abusive relationship, they have a family member that has utilized our agency, or somehow their life has been impacted by domestic violence. I always try to validate that they must have felt safe in shelter, to share another bracelet for their family member, to validate that their family member did the right thing to seek assistance or to encourage them to share our information with their loved one. So many of the victims coming to our agency's door for help began their cycle of abuse when they were just teenagers. The Yankton Women's & Children's Center goal is to prevent incidents of abuse by providing education.
Break the Cycle
River City Domestic Violence Center provides presentations regarding teen dating and healthy relationships to area 8th graders. This program offers teens insight on how to honestly assess the health of relationships, particularly romantic relationships and platonic friendships, and then presents concrete steps to help teens end unhealthy relationships. Students will learn to define and identify examples of healthy relationships, understand the red flags that may indicate an unhealthy relationship and learn tactics for ending an unhealthy relationship. The presentation includes both interactive activities and a 16 minute video in which real teens share their experiences covering a broad spectrum of unhealthy relationships from a once good friendship that has gone bad, to a romantic relationship that has become abusive.
Success Story:I want to share a short story that happened last spring after I had given presentations to area middle-school students. The presentation “Break the Cycle” addresses dating violence, healthy/unhealthy relationships, and an overview of our services. One evening in May, I received a call from an area deputy sheriff that was looking for a safe place for a mother and her two children. They had been victims in a domestic violence incident. As they pulled up to our shelter, the middle-school aged son assured his mother and sibling that things would be alright….that this woman (me) had talked to his school. He trusted that we were a safe place after hearing the presentation and this brought comfort to his family. This wasn’t the primary purpose of my presentation, but an added bonus - one that was a huge benefit to the family.
This program is presented to the graduating classes - some schools choose to have us talk to the entire Senior class and some choose to have us visit with only the graduating ladies. I cover campus and personal safety and spend a great deal of time discussing acquaintance rape and other issues that these young adults will face as they leave the comfort of their homes and high schools. Sexual assault is defined and pertinent statistics regarding campus rapes and alcohol involvement are shared with the students. There are opportunities for discussion and advice on how to prevent these situations is given with specific plans that the students can utilize. The female students are then given a metal whistle and the male students are given a silicone bracelet that encourages respect. Information is shared how the whistle can be a tool for crime prevention. The students are encouraged to place the whistle on their keychain to use in the event of an emergency. The whistle also serves as a reminder to take precautions for crime prevention.
Success Story: After sharing the whistle safety program, an adult who heard the presentation shared a personal story. This middle-aged woman described an event that happened when she was in high school. She was dating a fellow student and, while on a date, he wanted to go further sexually than she wanted. He proceeded and raped her. It was only recently that she shared this incident and sought emotional help to recover from the assault. She described how this violation had affected her entire life - relationship failures, not attending class reunions, and concern for her own children. She felt the need to validate the value of this program and hoped her story could somehow prevent another young woman having to suffer the trauma of sexual assault.