BodyRight Facilitator Training Programme
BodyRight – A Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention programme for Young People
The BodyRight Programme has been developed by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre to raise awareness about sexual violence among young people, to support them in protecting themselves and to contribute to the prevention of sexual violence. The programme is designed to be used with young people from 15 years of age upwards.
The BodyRight Programme aims to increase awareness of the importance of respecting others and their integrity including their physical integrity; to allow young people to develop an understanding of what behaviours constitute sexual violence, harassment and sexualised bullying; to provide information on the law and to give young people a chance to consider and understand the meaning of consent to a sexual act.
It aims to increase awareness of the nature of sexual violence and its impact and consequences and crucially to increase the ability of young people to protect themselves by developing their self awareness and capacity to resource themselves.
It aims to contribute to prevention by changing attitudes that lead to sexual violence through increased self awareness and self reflection and by raising awareness among young people of the potential harm of some of the behaviours of themselves or their peers, and their ability to question and challenge these behaviours.
Young people who participate have an opportunity to consider their own behaviours and the impact of these behaviours on others and to consider attitudes and societal beliefs about sexual violence and the impact of these. They are introduced to the concept of mindful self awareness and self resourcing and given an opportunity to achieve a greater understanding of the need for personal boundary setting and to develop their capacity to set such personal boundaries and respect the boundaries of others.
They are assisted also to develop their capacity to resource themselves and to hold their ground in the face of persuasion or coercion and to develop the capacity to pause and reflect at a particular moment, as an introduction to the concept of a ‘pause’ between the impulse to act and the action.
Information about and definitions of different forms of sexual violence and the law on sexual violence are provided. The issue of consent is considered in depth, offering an opportunity for young people to consider real life situations and what needs to be in place for true consent to be given. They are provided with information about accessing help and support.
A new module to address the issue of Sexting has recently been developed as an addition to the main BodyRight programme.
• Large group, small group and individual work.
• Case studies, role play, viewing of DVD of role play
• Provision of information, helpline phone numbers.
• Powerpoint presentation and flip chart/blackboard.
• Developing awareness of and where appropriate respectfully challenging beliefs and attitudes as a core theme running through all sessions.
• Experiential exercises, to be undertaken in mindful self awareness, by which is meant participants observing, noticing and being informed by their own internal experience.
The BodyRight Programme has been developed and is delivered with the support of funding from Cosc, The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence.
BodyRight is designed to be delivered to young people as three ninety minute sessions over three consecutive weeks. However it can be and has been modified and used as a greater number of sessions, as is appropriate with each group of young people and each setting within which it is used, provided each session is opened and closed appropriately. With very vulnerable young people parts of the programme have been sued on a one to one basis.
BodyRight is designed to be delivered by two experienced facilitators working together, at least one of whom has attended the BodyRight facilitator training with DRCC. This is to allow for the sensitivity of the topic, the experiential nature of the programme and the likelihood that for some of the young participants in any group the topics dealt with will resonate with their own experience. Where a second facilitator is not available, DRCC asks that the content of the programme be edited appropriately. DRCC authorises the use of this programme only by facilitators with appropriate pre-existing training and skills who have also undertaken the DRCC BodyRight facilitator training programme.
BodyRight as part of a wider programme
The BodyRight programme is not intended as a standalone programme, but should be integrated into an already existing social, personal, health and relationships and sexuality programme. The teacher/facilitator/youthworker can judge at what point to insert the BodyRight modules.
Informing the Participants
Participation in this programme by young people should be informed and voluntary. The young people should be informed in advance that this programme will be taking place, and should be invited to take part. There should be an explanation of what the programme entails, including reassurance that they will not be pressurised to participate beyond what is comfortable for them.
DRCC provides regular training programmes for BodyRight Facilitators
The training programme for facilitators is provided by DRCC in a range of formats to increase its accessibility to teachers and others working with young people. 242 staff from 165 schools and other organisations working with young people have attended this training up to the end of 2013. These have included staff of Youthreach centres, youthwork settings, those working with young Travellers, with young people with intellectual disability, mental health professionals, those working in residential care settings, detention settings and others
The training programme for BodyRight facilitators includes:
• a background training, to assist in understanding issues with regard to child sexual abuse, rape, sexual assault and trauma
• guidelines for facilitators on how to support young people who have experienced sexual violence or trauma
• training in the facilitation of the BodyRight programme.
Methodology of Facilitator Training
The training approach is participative and experiential. Methods used include group discussion, lecture, case studies, DVDs, audio tapes, role plays and experiential exercises.
There is a theme throughout of the importance of developing resourcing strategies to support the facilitator in dealing with this issue, and to prevent vicarious traumatisation and burnout.
Selecting Facilitators for the BodyRight programme
It is important that those who train to facilitate this programme are:
• themselves comfortable with the subject matter;
• comfortable about discussing the subject with young people;
• non-judgmental in their approach;
• willing to explore the concept of mindfulness and to use mindful self awareness with young people
• already skilled and experienced in facilitating and containing sensitive material in groups of young people;
• equipped to offer support to any young person who approaches them during or after the delivery of the BodyRight programme.
Mentoring and Support for the Facilitators
The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre offers support and further training to the facilitators as they deliver the programme. New content to meet emerging issues is developed on a continuing basis.