Skip to Main ContentCenter for Sex Offender Management, Educating the Community about Sexual Assault and the Management of Sex Offenders in the Community:  A Training Curriculum
A Project of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice
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I. What Community Members Need to Know
II. Conducting a Community Notification
III. Managing Sex Offenders
IV. The Role of the Community
Other CSOM Curricula
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Section 1: Lecture Content and Teaching Notes
What Community Members Need to Know about Sexual Assault and Sex Offenders

55 minutes

Use Slide # SymbolUse Slides #1-4: Title and Learning Objectives
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Refer to Handout Symbol Refer to handout: Cite or draw participants' attention to the following document included in its entirety among the participant materials for Section 1 of this long version of the curriculum: the NIJ Research In Brief entitled Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey, 1998. Rape in America: A Report to the Nation, 1992 is another informative document. It is available from the National Victim Center, Arlington, VA, for $10.

(5 minutes)


At the conclusion of this section, you will be able to:

  • Begin to replace some of the common myths regarding sex offenders and their victims with facts based on research and professional experience.

  • Identify and verbalize your fears and perceptions regarding the presence of sex offenders in the community and, hopefully, reduce some of those fears.

  • Have information about sexual assault prevention resources and victim services that are available locally.

  • Begin to consider how you might use the information that is presented during this session to protect yourselves, your families, and your communities from sexual assault.

Sexual assault is obviously a very serious issue, and there is a great deal of attention focused on high profile cases of sexual assault in the media. Ironically, much of what we do know comes under the category of "myth" rather than fact.

To begin our session, we are going to do a little True or False Quiz to highlight some common misconceptions and get some of the common sense facts out for discussion.

Given the tendency of the public to focus on sexual assault as a crime committed against children, this might be a good point to remind the audience that you use the term "sexual assault" broadly, to include unlawful sexual contact with adults, with children, and "hands off" sexual assaults, such as exhibitionism and "peeping," among other crimes.
As you will learn today, sexual assault is a widespread crime. It is likely that there are people in this audience who have been sexually assaulted or know someone who has been. For understandable reasons, the content of this training may make some people uncomfortable. If you find that the training is triggering some emotions for you, we have an advocate trained to work with sexual assault victims here with us. [Name of advocate or counselor] will be here for the duration of the training and is ready to talk to anyone in private and in confidence, should you feel it is necessary.