Section 1: Lecture Content and Teaching Notes
What Community Members Need to Know about Sexual Assault and Sex Offenders
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.
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.
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.