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Boys Will Be Boys Program, Shawnee County YWCA Battered Woman Task Force, Topeka, KS

Boys Will Be Boys Program, Shawnee County YWCA Battered Woman Task Force, Topeka, KS Note: This program is no longer occurring in its original form.

Key Words: (1) Mixed gender and male only; (2) elementary, middle, and high school age; (3) racially diverse population; (4) elementary, middle, and high school setting; (5) ongoing group discussion and mentoring
Population served
This program provides services to racially/ethnically diverse males ages 11 to 19, with a focus on African American boys. Approximately 1,000 students per month receive services. Students are recruited through Elementary Prevention Education Schools and based on teacher recommendations and student referrals.
Medium used to convey message
The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of the United States draws together members who strive to create leadership to attain a common vision: peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all people. In an effort to reduce the incidence of all forms of gender violence, this program is designed to implement a discussion-based prevention program with the motto “It is never necessary to be unkind.” These are ongoing discussion/mentoring groups that use several curricula to spark discussion. Mr. Murphy also facilitates afterschool programming, parent groups, and church groups.
Goals, objectives, and desired outcomes
The program has the following time-phased objectives:* Implement prevention education through discussion-based programming at five public schools in Shawnee County. Expand to three additional schools to develop a more methodologically sophisticated set of groups.

  • Design and implement a sport camp for prevention of first-time male perpetration of sexual violence.

The program hopes to achieve a change in knowledge, attitude, behavior, and environment that reduces the incidence of violence against females. The program has been successful because of its multi-method approach, and it reaches “at-risk” African American boys.
Theoretical/ scientific basis for the approach
The program is based on nonviolence theory and Christian faith based theology. It also uses three curricula developed by Nan Stein: Flirting or Hurting, Quit It, and Gender Violence.
Level of evaluation
Methods of evaluation are mainly composed of process evaluation with pre/post testing and informal participant feedback. Program accomplishments have been documented through external and internal evaluation.
Staff capacity
The program is delivered by the health educator, Lance Murphy. Training for program implementation includes 32 hours of mandated quarterly meetings/trainings facilitated by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Staff and resources are available to assist with data collection for evaluation efforts. Current funding is in Year 2 of a 5-year funding cycle as part of a noncompetitive continuation grant application process from a CDC/NCIPC/DVP Rape Prevention and Education grant.