Strengthening participatory practice with children and young people affected by sexual violence

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Evaluation of Rape Crisis Scotland's Sexual Violence Prevention Project

Posted: Tue Jun, 2015

Author: Claire Cody

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The Sexual Violence Prevention project was set up by Rape Crisis Scotland (RCS) in April 2013. It followed a consultation which identified a need for national support to coordinate and support prevention work with young people in Scotland and to develop a national sexual violence resource pack.

With funding from Lankelly Chase, RCS employed a Sexual Violence Prevention Co-ordinator to develop the work including the production of a resource pack. They then obtained two year funding from the Scottish Government's Early Intervention Fund to enable the appointment of Prevention Workers to deliver the resources to young people in schools and youth settings. The project has involved nine Rape Crisis Centres.
DMSS Research was appointed in June 2013 to provide an independent evaluation of the project. Methods have included qualitative interviews, analysis of session feedback forms from young people, teachers and youth workers and a specially designed pre and post survey tool - Teenage Attitudes to Sex and Relationships Scale (TASAR) to measure changes in knowledge and attitudes among young people attending three workshop sessions.
The evaluation showed that the delivery of workshops from the Sexual Violence Prevention resource pack project had a significant impact on young people's knowledge and attitudes. As a result of attending three workshops, the vast majority of young people increased their knowledge of how sexual violence and abuse can affect people, what the law says sexual violence is and where people who have been raped or sexually assaulted can go for support.
Attitudes also changed significantly, with the data suggesting that the workshop sessions were successful in raising young people's awareness of sexual violence, the importance of equality and consent in healthy relationships, and that the responsibility for sexual violence lies with perpetrators rather than victims.