Best Starts for Kids Helps Shift Culture in Renton Schools

Preventing sexual assault is a growing and critical piece of KCSARC’s work. We know breaking the cycle of violence means victims need to feel supported and believed when they report assault. That begins with a well-informed community that recognizes and responds to sexual abuse with belief and compassion, shifting the burden and blame to the offender and off the victim.  

Preventing sexual violence also means changing beliefs, values, and norms that accept violence. Let’s face it: what we’re really talking about is a culture shift. By the time we reach adulthood, our values and norms are set, and we become more resistant to change. Shifting the culture means reaching our young people as their worldview begins to take shape and instilling values of respect, positive boundaries, and effective communication.

That’s why we’re so excited about the ground-breaking prevention work we’re piloting in the Renton School District, made possible by the King County Best Starts for Kids initiative.

Best Starts for Kids funding enables KCSARC to deliver prevention education at Renton High School.

KCSARC’s long-time supporters may remember our advocacy for the Best Starts for Kids initiative in 2015. When voters approved the Best Starts for Kids levy, they paved the way forKCSARC to partner with HealthPoint and the Renton School District to place a prevention specialist on-site at Renton High School’s new health center this year. There, KCSARC’s prevention specialist is delivering proven prevention programing designed to increase pro-social behaviors and promote healthy decision-making.

In addition to critical prevention work, KCSARC will support student survivors of sexual assault by strengthening the referral process to services, as well as training Renton High School educators and staff.

At the middle and elementary school level, Best Starts for Kids funding also allows KCSARC to expand training and materials for staff, helping them better understand sexual assault and how to most effectively respond when students disclose abuse.

Learn more about KCSARC’s Trauma-Informed Classrooms programming.


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