By Scout Van Cise and Payton Brooks, staff writers
“What’s consent?” military veteran and 14-year Women’s Services employee Matt Capron yelled as he walked into Mr. Pat Bradshaw’s tenth grade health class.
A female in the class answered, “Permission that is freely given and clearly spoken.”
Throughout the first two weeks of March, Women’s Services visited Mr. Pat Bradshaw’s health classes to present the Date Abuse Teen Education (DATE) program. The program is designed to educate students about dating violence and to teach them to recognize patterns, potential causes, and prevention strategies.
In those two weeks, Capron informed the sophomores about different kinds of rape,
understanding consent, and how to help someone in a sexually dangerous situation.
“I hope that [students] understand that it’s not the victim’s fault, become an active bystander, help victims, and always make sure that when and if you do choose to have sex, you have consent,” said Capron.
The DATE program has influenced students in positive way. Sophomore Maddy Swavey said, “It was a positive experience because everyone should hear the message. It’s important for people to know because everybody needs to be aware of the dangers going on around us.”
This presentation is not to confirm young people’s fears about assault, but rather to inform them on when it is rape, who is to blame, and what to do. Tenth grader Michaila DeVore originally stated that body language tends to confuse men, but after viewing a gripping video with transcripts from a rapist, she changed her mind.
“I thought the whole thing was kind of stupid at first, but when you think about it, we’re high schoolers and we don’t think. That’s why this is so important,” said Michaila.