Subject matter for teenagers and young people
Successful activities give young people tools to negotiate respectful sexual encounters. The highest risk age group for sexual violence is 15 to 24-year-olds.
Promote protective factors
- positive interpersonal relationship skills
- how to manage conflict and solve problems — eg being assertive and managing anger
- how to seek help
- active bystander skills
- victim empathy
- empathy for sexual partners
- how to recognise and react to potential abuse situations.
- Need to give youth tools to negotiate and create ethical and respectful sexual encounters — Carmody & Willis (2006), cited in Russell (2008)
- Young people value information about relationships and violence, especially when it is delivered within a safe, ‘clearly boundaried’ environment — Maxwell et al. (2010)
- Skills for teachers include learning ways to support positive behaviour and learning, instructional techniques, and principles of youth development relating to programme strategies — Hassall & Hanna (2007), cited in Russell (2008)
Challenge cultural norms
- challenge gender roles or stereotypes
- challenge social norms around acceptable sexual behaviour
- challenge ideas that violence within intimate or dating relationships is normal
- acknowledge the influence that young people have on each others' behaviour
- reinforce shared norms that support non-violent behaviour.
Include online and social media safety
- have more impact if they focus on fostering social media awareness and online safety instead of monitoring specific sites
- encourage young people and their parents to define and develop healthy relationships in the social media environment, with a focus on empowering young people to make informed decisions about risks and healthy relationships
- use social norms marketing (which includes behaviour change lessons learned from a variety of fields including social marketing, sociology, behavioural psychology and evaluation research) and bystander intervention theory to understand the conditions under which young people are likely to act to prevent online abuse
- ensure initiatives which use any form of technology are youth-driven and youth informed.
- Support and build media literacy in both young people and their parents/caregivers and foster social media awareness and e-safety — Fairbairn, et al. (2013) (PDF 1.8MB)
- Use social norms marketing and bystander intervention programmes, to understand the conditions under which young people are likely to act to prevent online abuse — Fairbairn et al. (2013) (PDF 1.8MB)
- Ensure any programme which utilises technology is youth-driven — Fairbairn et al. (2013) (PDF 1.8MB)
- Become familiar with the forms and types of technology used by young people, not just social media (e.g., video games, apps, interactive surveys, webinars, wikis, social networking, blogs, geomapping) — Maier (2012)
Why promote protective factors
Successful activities for young people focus on how to negotiate and create respectful and ethical sexual encounters, and how to identify and respond to potential abuse situations.
How to promote protective factors
Successful activities teach teenagers and young people:
Evidence for promoting protective factors
Why challenge cultural norms
Successful activities for young people challenge the social and cultural attitudes and behaviours that normalise sexual violence before they're entrenched.
How to challenge cultural norms
Successful activities for young people:
Why include online and social media safety
Online abuse is common among teenagers. Successful activities should help both young people and their parents or caregivers to be aware of the risks and stay safe when using social media and other new technology.
How to include online and social media safety
Successful activities for teenagers and young people:
Evidence for including online and social media safety
Find out more
Overview report of Youth 2012 survey (PDF 4.3MB)
Literature review of school-based violence prevention programmes — ACC (2007) (PDF 1.1MB)
Working with adolescents within the education system — Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault (2005)
Teenpower (Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower Trust)
Sexual violence primary prevention for young people aged 13-16 (evaluated for young people aged 12-15).
BodySafe & Sex’n’Respect (Rape Prevention Education)
BodySafe is a programme for young people aged 13-16. The Sex’n’Respect extension is available for 15-17 year olds.