Prevention of Sexual Violence Against Females, Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA), Kansas City, MO

Contact Name: Gail Jones Kaufman
Phone Number: (816) 931-4527
Key Words: (1) Male only and mixed gender; (2) middle school age; (3) racially diverse; (4) middle school setting; (5) multiple-session, curriculum-based program
Population served
Project participants are male and female middle school students. Depending on the school, students may be seen together or in single-gender groups. Approximately 100 new or ongoing participants receive exposure to MOCSA services each month. One of the schools is mostly Caucasian; the youth at another site are multinational and ethnically diverse, with 70 percent being either African American or Hispanic. Partner schools were chosen based on their communicated desire for a prevention program.
Medium used to convey message
MOCSA partners with two middle schools and provides sexual assault prevention programming each year to the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. A curriculum was developed using lecture, small group discussion, homework assignments, videos, role plays, and other activities. Topics include Understanding Violence; Stereotypes and Gender Roles; Positive Relationships; Sexual Assault; Communication; Personal Power; Interpersonal Competence; Anger Management; and Conflict Resolution.
Goals, objectives, and desired outcomes
This program exists to decrease the risk factors associated with sexual violence victimization and perpetration among youth by changing the attitudes and behavior that perpetuate sexual violence in our society. The objectives are that youth will learn life-long skills that will help them decrease the incidence of sexual violence by developing empathy, understanding consequences for behavior, developing effective coping responses, and understanding how the perpetuation of gender stereotypes fosters a rape-supportive culture.
Theoretical/ scientific basis for the approach
A literature review was conducted prior to developing the prevention program to guide its development. MOCSA’s programs are comprehensive programs that open dialogue with youth on important topics such as sex, sexual assault, and intimacy. These areas are not discussed by most adults, resulting in misinformation from peers and the media. MOCSA combats the perpetuation of myths and negative perceptions about sexual violence and healthy and unhealthy relationships.
Level of evaluation
Resource Development Institute was retained to evaluate MOCSA’s sexual assault prevention program over a 3-year period. Pre- and post-tests were administered using a battery of assessment tools. Evaluation results confirmed that the program was effective, with reduction in violent acts and increases in friendly interactions. Quarterly staff meetings are held to discuss challenges, and staff routinely discuss issues and observations with the cooperating teacher at each partner school.
Staff capacity
As a rape crisis center, MOCSA has been providing prevention services for over 25 years. The RPE project has been in existence since 1998, with full implementation beginning in 1999. Seven staff members serve on this project in various capacities. Staff members are required to read the literature review for a foundation of sexual assault prevention and to practice delivering the program. Staff are trained in crisis intervention, mandated reporting, and referral sources so that they are prepared if a program participant discloses an incident of sexual assault. Staff currently collect evaluation data for programming. MOCSA receives funding for this program from a variety of sources, including private foundations, United Way, individual contributions, and the Kansas Governor’s Office.