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KU to start new sexual violence prevention training

July 28, 2018

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas has developed a new mandatory training program for student-athletes designed to help prevent sexual violence.

The university’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center has worked with KU Athletics to launch the Gender Based Violence Prevention Seminar this fall, the Lawrence Journal-World reported .

“Kansas Athletics was that first group to step up and say, ‘This is important, and we recognize that and we want to be a part of it,’” said Jen Brockman, who leads the center. “They could see the application. They could see the worth and how this would improve the lives of their students.”

Brockman said many institutions just train student-athletes in sexual violence prevention for 10 or 20 minutes. The university’s training will provide evidence-based instruction over four years, giving student-athletes 45 hours of direct education on gender-based violence prevention through their time at the school.

“We like quick and easy fixes, so we think, ‘If I just tell people not to do this bad thing, then they won’t do this band thing anymore’” Brockman said. “But that’s not how changing attitudes, behaviors and beliefs works, because the messaging that our students are getting surrounding gender-based violence, they are inundated with daily.”

The program will focus on four areas over the course of its installments: individual, relationships, community and societal. The seminar is based on the four-level model for understanding violence and the potential effects of violence prevention methods.

It will take time and research to determine how effective the training is, Brockman said. But seeing the program come to fruition has been the center’s “dream” since the free-standing facility’s founding more than two years ago.

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Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com

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