End Relationship and Sexual Abuse

At Wellspring, we want to end relationship and sexual abuse. To do that, we have to create the social change necessary so that no one would even think of committing an act of abuse in the first place. That is primary prevention – stopping it before it starts.

Healthy Relationships
In our work, the types of relationships that we focus on are intimate relationships that range from dating relationships, no matter the length of time that the people have been dating or the “seriousness” of the relationship, and spousal relationships. These relationships may or may not include children in common and they may be current or former partners. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “promoting expectations for healthy, non-violent relationships and building skills in these areas can reduce the risk for perpetration and victimization of intimate partner violence (IPV).” What makes a relationship healthy? A healthy relationship is one that has:
  • Mutual respect
  • Trust
  • Honesty
  • Support
  • Safety
  • Equality
  • Open communication
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Similar to promoting healthy relationships to end relationship abuse, we also work to build skills that are associated with the prevention of sexual abuse. An important starting point for this is to teach people of all ages about consent.

Consent is an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity. There are many ways to give consent  Consent doesn’t have to be verbal, but verbally agreeing to different sexual activities can help both you and your partner respect each other’s boundaries.

We can’t just leave it to teens and young adults to understand and practically apply the concepts of consent. We need the adults in the lives of young people to demonstrate understanding of this concept as well. One specific group of adults that can be very influential in a young person’s development of consensual activity is parents – talk to your children about consent. This article, published by the Good Men Project, has great information and tips to teaching kids consent, ages 1-21.

Also, Wellspring produced a brief video which highlights the reasons why this conversation is so important to do with young people entering into college.

I would like to schedule a training to learn more.

Bystander Intervention

The CDC also states that a strategy to end relationship and sexual abuse is to promote social norms that protect against violence. One way to do this is through bystander intervention.

Bystander intervention is recognizing a potentially harmful situation or interaction and choosing to respond in a way that could positively influence the outcome.

There are a few ways to intervene:

  • Direct – confronting a situation head-on
  • Distract – Taking the focus away from a situation
  • Delegate – Enlisting the help of others

This intervention can happen at anytime. You don’t always have to intervene while something is happening to make a difference.

We created a video for rising high school graduates to help them get started on solid ground when they get to college.

Meet KESHI! KESHI is here to talk about what social norms are, and how challenging them sometimes can be a good thing. This video can be a great conversation starter for parents to talk to teens and young adults who are joining new communities or for teens and young adults to watch for themselves.

KESHI’s goal:
Healthy and

This video is the latest piece in our work to help change the way society thinks about issues like relationship and sexual abuse. This video focuses on ‘social norms,’ and how challenging them can help keep people safe. We use this video in local high schools and college campuses as part of our social change and prevention programs.

Other organization websites that may be of interest:

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Don’t wait.

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