Program teaches MHS seniors about sexual assault
Numerous local organizations collaborate to make day a success
For Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD — “Growing up in the Marshfield area, young people are not exposed to many of the personal safety threats that exist in other communities. As our seniors look toward graduation and prepare for the next chapter in their lives, it is vitally important that they are equipped to recognize potentially dangerous situations and have the knowledge and skills to keep themselves, or a friend, safe.” — Renee Schulz-Stangl, Personal Development Center executive director.
This statement was the driving force behind the Safety After High School program. Statistics say that one out of every five women and one out of every 71 men will be sexually assaulted at some point in their lives. On Friday, April 1, seniors at Marshfield High School participated in the half-day program Safety After High School.
Due to the sensitivity of the issue, male and female students were separated for the duration of the safety program and placed into small groups. The first section of the program was designed to give students information about sexual assault by discussing the following:
—Definition and statistics of sexual assault.
—How to report a sexual assault and what happens when you do.
—Sexual assault on campus, in the workplace, and in the military.
—Role of alcohol and other substances in sexual assault.
—Identifying risks of sexual assault.
—Reviewing personal rights.
This was followed by activities designed to provide students with tools and strategies to use in real-life situations, including how to support someone in a dangerous situation as a bystander. Classroom discussions were facilitated by officers from the Marshfield Police Department and staff from the Personal Development Center and Marshfield School District. A sex offender registration specialist from the Wisconsin Department of Corrections facilitated discussions in one of the classrooms.
Students then practiced self-defense in the field house with the assistance of instructors from Ki Nagare Dojo.
All students were sent home with a safety flashlight courtesy of the Marshfield Clinic.
According to feedback on student surveys, the self-defense portion of the program was popular. Other content students found helpful was learning to be assertive, creating a safety plan, and discussing real-life scenarios.
This program could not have been accomplished without the collaboration between the Personal Development Center, Marshfield Police Department, Ki Nagare Dojo, and Marshfield School District. There are high hopes that a program like this will become a regular occurrence for students.