This project was created out of the necessity to create a safe space, free from sexual violence among members and counselors of the Israeli Scouts. It is important to understand that in Israel there is not a national policy concerning the prevention of sexual violence among youth. In the formal education system, prevention is often limited to and dependent on educators who work in the educational system and personally believe that raising awareness about sexual violence is crucial. Thus, the framework of informal education is an excellent and more fitting arena to engage the issue because it is not bureaucratic and formalistic, and is thus more open to absorb and assimilate ethical issues.
Additionally, we are aware that today's youth are exposed to violent, sexual and pornographic content on the internet through social networks and mainstream media. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to raise awareness and train relevant professionals who come in contact with youth to recognize, confront and address this phenomenon, and eventually minimize it.
This project is of great importance because it concerns the Israeli Scouts, the largest youth movement in Israel, and the process can serve as an example and model for other youth movements and informal education frameworks throughout the country.
This project includes the development and implementation of a three-year educational model for the prevention and handling of occurrences of sexual violence within three circles of influence:
- Leadership: The management level of the movement.
- Tribes: Tribe coordinators and counselors.
- Members: implementing educational programming for all members of the movement.
As part of the framework of this project, the target population will be exposed to the world of sexual violence among youth. The management level and counselors will acquire tools to identify sexual abuse, will develop educational tools for the prevention of the phenomenon in the movement, and will create a safe space for all genders. They will additionally be taught content about healthy sexual behavior among members and educators in the movement.