BHR 3- high school- sexual assault

Building Healthy Relationships – High School Curriculum

Program 3


This program is designed as an introduction to understanding sexual violence for students ages 13-19. During the workshop students will learn about different aspects of rape and sexual assault, including sexual harassment.  By using an interactive video students will explore myths and facts about sexual assault.

As a result of this program students will:

1.       Be able to correctly identify local resources for sexual assault, rape and domestic violence. (Specifically Middle Way House’s purpose and contact info)


2.       Become familiar with U.S. laws regarding rape and sexual assault.

  1. Be able to understand the power/control dynamics that characterize sexual violence.


Presenter Preparation:

1.     Anne & Jim DVD

2.     “Defining Sexual Assault” and “Debriefing” posters

3.     “Help for Rape Survivors” handouts

4.     Blank papers for anonymous questions

5.     Pencils or pens


 Upon arrival:

1.     Arrange seating (if possible) to facilitate discussion. All students should be able to see the presenter (e.g. semi-circle).

2.     Write on the board:

Middle Way House

(812) 336-0846 24/7 crisis line




·         Introduce yourself personally. Explain briefly what your role is at the MWH/Rise.

·         If an OSA is available they should introduce themselves, and explain their role. Explain that some of the information we will discuss can be upsetting, and anyone should feel free to step out if uncomfortable. The OSA will follow anyone out the classroom in case they want to talk. OSAs should assure confidentiality.




·         Ask by show of hands how may students have heard of the Middle Way House. Ask those who raised their hands to share what they know.

·         Explain that MWH is a non-profit organization committed to fighting gender violence. The Middle Way House encompasses a number of services:

       An emergency shelter for women and children who need a safe place to stay because of violence at home.

       A rape crisis center with trained advocates that meet people that have experienced sexual assault at the hospital and on scene (if the perpetrator has been arrested). The advocates also are available for phone support. The advocates are available 24/7. This service is available to all genders.

       A crisis line available 24/7 for people to receive support, ask questions, receive resources regarding relationships, domestic violence and sexual assault. Indicate the number on the board and explain the free, anonymous, confidential concepts. This service is available to all genders.

       Rise transitional housing. For women and children that have experience domestic violence. It is a 28 unit building where families can reside for up to two years.

       Free legal consultation e.g. help filing for protective orders or divorce. Legal advocates also accompany survivors to court.

       Education and prevention programs like the one we are presenting today.


·         Ground Rules


Ask the class what kind of ground rules they would like to have for our discussion. We want it to be a safe place for people to voice their opinions and learn from each other.

If they have not said it already, add:

       Agree to disagree.

We may have strong opinions, and it is ok for people to disagree.



What is said in the room stays in the room


·         Why are we here?

We are here today to talk about sexual assault. We are not here to say if you should be in romantic relationships or having sex. We are here to provide information and have a discussion. You will have a chance to ask us an anonymous question at the end of the program. Please feel free to ask questions at any time.

Some stats on sexual violence in America:

·         1 in 4 American women will experience a sexual assault or rape in her lifetime[1].

·         1 in 10 American men will experience a sexual assault or rape in his lifetime[2].

·         44% of rape and sexual assault survivors are under age 18[3].

·         70% of survivors know their assailants[4].

·         63% of rapes are not reported to the police[5].

·         74% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police

2.  Anne and Jim dvd


Option 1 for classes with DVD/VCR:

Show Anne and Jim: Building Healthy Relationships movie to students.

Presenters Explain:

We will be watching a short video about two people, Anne and Jim. Though the people in the video are actors, this is based on a combination of true stories. Watch the film and pay close attention to the details. We will use this film to continue our discussion.

Presenter STOPS video after Tony, before Anne’s story!

Student discussion and activity:  What is happening between Anne and Jim?

Human Thermometer activity:

The human thermometer, or line game, asks students to physically place themselves on an imaginary line in the room based on their opinions about a statement.

Presenter Instructions:  Ask students to stand. Move desks to clear space for a physical line on the floor. Designate one side of the room agree and one side disagree. Explain to students you will read a statement and ask them to decide if they agree or disagree or are somewhere in between.

Line Game Statements:

Things got out of control between Anne and Jim.

Jim acted like any guy would.

Anne led Jim on.

After the statement is read, students will move themselves on the line to the place of their choice.

Ask students: What prompted you to stand here? What are your thoughts about this statement? What makes you agree or disagree?

Presenter asks student to sit down and watch Anne’s story.

After the video is over, ask:

Did your opinion change after you heard from Anne? If so, how?

As a friend what could you do for Anne? Jim?

After a brief discussion, move students to definition making section.


Option 2 (for Classrooms with no VCR/DVD)


Presenters will read the Anne and Jim script.


Presenters Explain:

We will be reading you a story about two people, Anne and Jim. Listen carefully to the details. We will use this story as the basis for our discussion.

Anne and Jim script:

Jim:  I first saw her in class and I thought, “I could get into that. She’s hot!” I knew the group that she usually had lunch with, so I started sitting with them. I could tell she was into me—always laughing at my jokes and touching my arm. So I decided to take her to the home game. I knew she’d be into it.

Anne:  I first met him in class. He was really cute and had a great smile. He knew some of my friends and starting having lunch with us. I really liked him. He really made me laugh. We had lots in common. When he asked me to the home game I said “sure,” trying not to sound too excited. I was hoping he would ask me out.

Jim:  I decided that the game wouldn’t be much fun. I picked up a movie instead. I got a comedy ‘cause she seemed to like that stuff. My folks would be out for most of the evening, so we were set. When I picked her up, she said something about meeting her friends at the game, but she was on a date with me, not them. She was cool about it when she realized where I was coming from. It was then I knew I’d get some.

Anne:  When he picked me up he said we weren’t going to the game at all. He had a movie and he wanted to go to his house. He said he picked up a comedy ‘cause he knew I’d like it better than the game. I was kind of looking forward to the game. All my friends were going to be there and I told them we would sit with them. I told him maybe we could watch the movie another time, my friends were expecting us. He said “Who are you on a date with anyways?” I felt weird. He wasn’t really listening to me but I thought he was being nice by picking up a movie he thought I’d like. I decided to drop it and have fun, it wasn’t a big deal. Besides this could be the start of something.

Jim:  When we got to my place I told her my folks were out, but that they would be home later. She was O.K. with that. After we watched part of the movie I figured it was time. She was laid back and looking real good in her tight shirt. She must have known it too cause she started kissing me. Nothing too serious, just making out. At first everything was great. Then when I laid her down on the couch she started twisting and saying she didn’t want to. I laid off and started to warm her up again. I could tell she was just playing a game. This time I just kept on going because I knew she’d like it. After all, she started it and you could tell she was no virgin. When she seemed ready to give it up, I thought okay, let’s do it.

Anne:  When we got back to his house he told me his folks were out. He said they’d be back soon so I thought nothing of it. We hung out on the couch watching the movie. We were sitting close and the movie wasn’t really going anywhere. I leaned over and kissed him on the neck. It was great. We started kissing even more and things got pretty intense. The he started to go further. I felt uncomfortable and asked him to slow down. I didn’t want him to think I go that far, especially on the first date. He eased up and we started kissing again. Things got intense and this time I told him I thought we should stop. I tried to move away and asked him to please stop. He didn’t stop. Instead he told me I could quit playing this game. He said he knew I wanted it. He didn’t listen and I didn’t understand why. Then he lay down on top of me. He was so much bigger and stronger. I got scared and started to cry. Why would he do this if he likes me? I froze and he forced himself in me.

Jim:  She was upset afterwards but…if she didn’t want to have sex, why did she start it? She knew my folks weren’t home. You could tell by the way she dressed and acted she was no virgin. I don’t know what the big deal was, but she’ll be O.K. Next week, I’ll take her out to dinner. She’ll be fine.

Anne:  It only took a few minutes and it was horrible. He was so rough. When it was over, he kept asking me what was wrong—like he didn’t know! He forced himself on me and he thought it was O.K. He drove me home and said he wanted to see me again. I don’t know what I’ll do if I see him again

Student Reactions

Questions to ask:

What do you think happened between Jim and Anne? Why do you think that?

What did Jim do? What did Anne do? How do you know?

What did Jim want? What did Anne want? How do you know?

3. defining sexual assault

Students, with the help of presenters, will define rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment on the board.

Presenter Instructions:

Let the students know that you will be creating definitions on the board to help clarify issues. This will help the student decide later what happened between Anne and Jim. Ask for student input to create definitions for Rape, Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment. Ultimately, you want to convey the following on the board:


Unwanted sexual intercourse (penetration with a body part)

Sexual Assault

Unwanted sexual touching




 Sexual Harassment

Unwanted nonphysical sexual attention such as staring, verbal and written comments, jokes, pictures, or e-mails






Let the students know that the above descriptions define sexual crimes according to the state of Indiana. Write on the board (or display poster) other definitions of rape as defined by other states:

Criminal sexual conduct

Sexual intercourse without consent

Indecent assault

Spousal/marital rape or sexual assault


Criminal sexual penetration


            Ask students:

·         Why do you think there are so many terms used for generally the same crime?

·         Do the different definition shape the way we perceive rape? How?

Share with the students a few facts about the law:

  1. Punishment for rape can range greatly depending on:

AGE of the victim

INJURIES sustained

TYPE of contact

NUMBER of perpetrators

RELATIONSHIP between the victim and perpetrator

CRIMINAL HISTORY of perpetrator

GENDER of the victim

  1. Some states have not made rape between spouses illegal. If it is considered a crime, the punishment is usually less serious (33 out of 50 states). Indiana makes no distinction based on perpetrator/victim relationship. Many states are now changing these laws.
  2. In some states, NOT including Indiana, if a) a woman rapes a man or 2) the victim and the perpetrator are the same gender; the act is not considered rape. Many states are changing these laws too.
  3. In all states, if you know sexual assault or misconduct with a child has happened, by law you must report it. The reports are confidential.
  4. Most states protect the identity of rape survivors, both adult and child.

Ask students:

·         Why do you think marital rape is considered a lesser offense by some states?

·         Why do you think in some states the gender of the victim and perpetrators are specified (e.g. the perpetrator has to be male and the victim female)

5. Defining and Explaining Consent

Write CONSENT on the board.

Ask students what it means.

Discuss the difference between giving in and giving permission.  Explain that consent is stronger than agreeing, it’s giving permission.  Ask students to think of things that they’ve agreed to do but didn’t actually want to do.  Give some examples such as taking out the garbage or doing homework.  Then explain that consent, in the context of sexual activity, must happen between all participating people—it must be mutual.



Explain “must haves” for consent in the state of Indiana.

Consent=Mutual Permission

1.     You must be 16 years old

2.     You must be sober

3.     You must be awake


Next, ask students how unwanted sex happens. What tools does a rapist use? How does a person get someone to do something they don’t want to do? Write “Unwanted” on the board and ask for examples.  Write the students’ examples under the word “Unwanted.”  Include the examples below in addition to whatever the students come up with.

Unwanted (How does unwanted sex happen?)

Force  Threaten  Ignore  Drug  Intoxicate  Trick

Intimidate  Manipulate  Coerce


Remember to explain words student might not understand, such as coercion.

Coercion—using threats, often verbal threats, to cause someone to do something they don’t want to do.






Then ask what rape, sexual assault or harassment is intended to do. Why would a person rape another person? Write “Intended” under your definitions on the boards and ask the students for reasons a person might rape another.  Write their suggestions under the word “Intended.”  Include the examples below in addition to whatever the students come up with.

Intended (Why would one person to this to another)

Overpower        Control    Dominate   Shame   Revenge

Get a relationship   Punish   Make someone uncomfortable

This is the time to let students know that these are crimes about power and control. Let them know that the rapist is looking to overpower and sex is the weapon. A rapist is not looking for sex, but power.

Presenter Information:  Students often question the power and control motive. Using data, we can help illustrate the point.

·         44% of rape survivors are under 18.[6]

·         97% of women who are seriously mentally ill and episodically homeless experience violent victimization.[7]

·         38% of female psychiatric inpatients have experienced sexual abuse as an adult.[8]

·         56% of female psychiatric inpatients have experienced domestic violence as an adult.[9]


Ask the students:

Why would people with disabilities and children be more likely to experience sexual violence?

How does this fit in with power and control?

Explain:  These are groups of people that are easy to manipulate and control


Pass out blank pieces of paper. Ask students to write a question or comment on the piece of paper. Instruct students to NOT write their names on the piece of paper. Be sure everyone turns in a piece of paper even if they do not have a question to ensure the questions remain anonymous. Answer the questions in class. If you don’t have enough time, tell them you will send answers to the school

[1] FBI, 2003.

[2] FBI, 2003.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Bureau of Census.  “Rape and Sexual Assault—Reports to Police and Medical Attention:  1992-2000.”  Statistical Abstract of the US, 2006:  The National Data Book.  Online.  Lexis Nexis Statistical Database.  25 Sept. 2006.

[6] FBI, 2003.

[7] Goodman, L.A., Dutton, M.A., and Harris, M.  “Episodically Homeless Women With Serious Mental Illness:  Prevalence of Physical and Sexual Assault.”  American Journal of Orthopsychiatry  65 (1995):  468-478.  Quoted in Zweig, J., et al.  “Assisting Women Victims of Violence Who Experience Multiple Barriers to Services.”  Violence Against Women  8:2  (2002):  162-180.

[8] Jacobson, A. and Richardson, B.  “Assault experiences of 100 psychiatric inpatients:  Evidence for the Need of Routine Inquiry.”  American Journal of Psychiatry  144  (1987):  908-913.  Quoted in Zweig, J., et al.  “Assisting Women Victims of Violence Who Experience Multiple Barriers to Services.”  Violence Against Women  8:2  (2002):  162-180.

[9] Ibid.

1 Comment so far
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Where can I get a copy of the Jim and Anne DVD and the handouts for all of the high school curriculum sessions? Thank You!

Comment by Cindy

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