Women’s Resource Center


Contact Name: Beth Blakeman-Pohl
Phone Number: (406) 228-8401
E-mail: women@nemontel.net
Key Words: (1) Mixed gender and male only; (2) grades 7 to 12; (3) racially diverse; (4) middle and high school setting; (5) multiple-session, curriculum-based program; (6) four-part series
Population served
This school-based program is delivered to single-sex and mixed-gender groups in grades 7 to 12 in all 19 schools in the four-county area. On average, the program is delivered to 315 participants per month. Native American youth are targeted and recruited to participate in the program through area schools.
Medium used to convey message
The program delivers the “Boy Talk/Girl Talk” series, which covers Dating Violence, Sexual Violence, Self-Harm/Self-Injury, and Stalking and Hate Crimes. The program includes discussion, information, resources, and a safety planning theme to deliver its prevention message.
Goals, objectives, and desired outcomes
The purpose of the program is to address the issues of violence faced by youth because these issues were not being discussed otherwise. Staff provide youth with the knowledge that what they choose to do may be illegal and the effects of those choices, such as incarceration and being listed in a sexual offender registry. The program also serves to validate the victims’ experience. The overarching goal is to decrease violence, primarily sexual violence, raising awareness about the issues, educating the youth, and giving them the knowledge to stop the violence by making a choice. Staff believe that the most important service the program provides is honest, straightforward talk about the issues that youth face.
Theoretical/ scientific basis for the approach
Although the program does not have a theoretical basis, it does use a formal prevention model. Staff introduce an alternative to the youth; to be clear that the sexual encounter is consensual for both participants.
Level of evaluation
The program submits semiquarterly reports to the Montana State Health Department and has a relationship established with an evaluator. Staff started conducting evaluations after each presentation to learn about abuse the youth have experienced themselves or committed against others. They will use these findings to educate the community on the reality of youth violence and to implement programs to better address these issues. Staff consider requests by counselors and school administrators for the program as documentation of their success.
Staff capacity
The program’s director and a law enforcement liaison advocate (a former law enforcement officer) deliver the program, and both have participated in state and national training. Staff resources for evaluation activities are minimal; however, this program has been identified as a priority-funded program by the Montana State Health Department.