We are excited to announce that the Orange County Rape Crisis Center has been awarded the inaugural Purple Ribbon of Excellence! Presented by the Training and Education Committee of the North Carolina Domestic Violence Commission, the Purple Ribbon of Excellence recognized the Center’s efforts to prevent child sexual abuse through our community education programs.
Over the last thirty years, our Safe Touch program for children and our Start Strong program for teens have helped prevent child sexual abuse by teaching children and adolescents to identify inappropriate behavior, to develop an understanding of consent and healthy relationships, and to stand against sexual violence in their schools and communities. These programs are designed for continuous learning, which means that students in every public school in Orange County will receive Safe Touch (preK through 5th grade) or Start Strong (7th and 9th grade) programming year after year, so the skills and knowledge they gain are consistently reinforced and built upon. Conversations that start with learning your own bodily autonomy and boundaries eventually shift to how these ideas apply to treating and respecting others.
Additionally, the OCRCC offers adult and family education programs designed to help adults talk to their children about keeping themselves safe. This comprehensive approach empowers children, parents, and teachers to prevent child sexual abuse in their communities and educates students about boundaries, consent, and healthy relationships using an effective, long-lasting model.
During the 2015-2016 school year, staff and volunteer community educators presented 1,027 programs to over 15,904 audience members. Additionally, in a 2014 survey, 100% of school counselors and 94% of teachers in schools receiving Safe Touch programs said they felt that our education increased students’ awareness of personal safety and protection against sexual abuse.
With 1 in 10 children experiencing sexual abuse before the age of 18, our community education programs are crucial. So donate to the Center, or apply today to become a volunteer community educator! There are many, many ways to support us in providing help, hope, and healing to residents of Orange County and beyond, and working with kids and teens is one of the most critical and rewarding jobs we can do.
If you would like more information or if you are interested in scheduling one of our award-winning programs , please contact Community Education Director Rachel Valentine at email@example.com or 919-968-4647.
Ellie McWilliam-Grench is our Administrative & Outreach Intern. She is a sophomore at UNC-Chapel Hill.