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New Initiative Uses Sports as Platform to End Sexual Assault and Dating Abuse

We are thrilled to announce that WSCADV launched Team Up Washington today, in partnership with the Harborview Center for Sexual Assault & Traumatic Stress and LifeWire. The new initiative is designed to prevent violence by equipping student athletes with tools to stand up for respect and to shift culture at their high schools and in their community.

Sexual assault and teen dating violence are incredibly prevalent. One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old. Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year. These forms of violence are 100% preventable.

Team Up Washington recognizes that high school athletic coaches and mentors play an extremely influential role in the lives of young people. Because of the time they spend with student athletes and the relationships they develop, coaches and mentors are uniquely poised to positively influence how young people think and behave, both on and off the field.

The initiative uses two research-based violence prevention programs that have been shown to have a positive effect on social norms in high schools by building healthy relationship skills and creating a culture of safety and respect. Athletes As Leaders and Coaching Boys Into Men are the curricula that will be used to train high school coaches, athletic directors, and mentors to implement this approach in their local high schools. The first three training events will take place in the Seattle area in the coming year and are open to anyone looking to implement these programs in a Washington State high school. The trainings will be hosted and made possible by the generous support of the Seattle Seahawks, 710 ESPN Seattle, and the Seattle Mariners.

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