Expect Respect Curriculum, Safe Place, Austin, TX
Contact Name: Barrie Rosenbluth
Phone Number: (512) 356-1628
E-mail: [email protected]
Key Words: (1) Mixed gender and male only; (2) grades K to 12; (3) racially diverse; (4) middle and high school setting; (5) multiple-session, curriculum-based program; (6) 24 weeks
The Expect Respect Program serves 400 students in school-based counseling and support groups each year, with some programming specifically targeting males. Participants are ethnically/racially diverse, with the largest percentage being Hispanic. Counseling and groups serve students in grades K-12 who have experienced domestic violence, sexual abuse, or are involved in an abusive dating relationship. Educational programs on preventing bullying, sexual harassment, and dating violence reach 4,000 students and 3,000 adults each year.
Medium used to convey message
The Expect Respect Program provides individual counseling, educational support groups, classroom presentations, and staff training. Support group facilitators use the program’s curriculum, “Expect Respect: A Support Group Manual for Safe and Health Relationships.” The sessions are 24 weeks long, with separate groups for male and female students. The groups provide a safe place for members to talk about their experiences, give and receive supportive feedback, and build skills for healthy relationships. Classroom presentations and staff training are also provided.
Goals, objectives, and desired outcomes
The Expect Respect Program works at multiple levels in a school. The goals are to (1) support youth in healing from past abuse, (2) raise expectations for equality and respect in relationships, (3) enhance safety and respect on school campuses, and (4) promote youth leadership in violence prevention. Each program component is evaluated. Students who participate in middle and high school groups are expected to increase their knowledge about abusive and healthy relationships and their confidence in their relationship skills. They are expected to decrease their acceptance of the use of force in relationships. Students who participate in educational presentations are expected to increase their awareness and their ability to help themselves and their peers. Adults who receive training are expected to identify strategies for stopping and preventing bullying, sexual harassment, and dating violence among students.
Theoretical/ scientific basis for the approach
Children who experience sexual or domestic violence need access to services at school to help them increase their safety, social support, and relationship skills. Without intervention, these children are at risk for further victimization and for perpetrating violence against peers and dating partners. Primary prevention programs should address bullying and sexual harassment as precursors to dating and sexual violence. Based on the work of Dan Olweus, the Expect Respect Program developed and evaluated a school-wide model for preventing bullying and sexual harassment and improving school climate. This multi-level approach includes classroom curricula developed by Nan Stein at the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women.
Level of evaluation
Questionnaires are administered to students during their intake session and again at the completion of the group curriculum. Pre- and post-tests are designed to measure changes in knowledge, attitudes, and future behaviors. Evaluation methods for other program components include school climate surveys, training feedback forms, and student and teacher focus groups. The program produces an evaluation report each year.
Program staff include a director, a coordinator of training, a prevention educator, four school-based counselors, an administrative assistant, and a team of interns and volunteers.
For more information about Safe Place, listen to our PreventConnect podcast featuring Bari Rosenbluth and Barbara Ball.
Expect Respect posters, found here