Overview

Resulting from a coordinated effort by survivors of abuse and allies, West Virginia passed legislation in 2015 (“Erin’s Law”) requiring all of its public schools to implement a body safety education program for students in every grade. The law also requires that every teacher and public school employee receive training focused on the prevention of child sexual abuse and on recognizing and responding to suspected abuse and neglect.

The West Virginia Child Advocacy Network (WVCAN) and West Virginia Department of Education asked us to help develop a four-hour series of foundational training videos to equip public school personnel with these essential skills.

Process

Step 1

WVCAN approached us to create a four-hour, multi-part video series.

The videos were had to meet the legislative requirement and engage public school employees in deeper learning about how to prevent, identify, and respond to abuse.

Step 2

Working from required curriculum outlines and the code specified by the legislation, we developed concepts for three video modules—each with its own focus and framework.

Step 3

Next we created story boards for each of the modules and presented them to the Department of Education.

Step 4

The it was time to shoot the videos.

In partnership with Emmy-winning and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Curren Sheldon, poet, advocate, and survivor Crystal Good—who acted as host for two of the three videos—and numerous other allies, educators, experts and survivors, we created the mandated four hours of training video with the mission to make the content both compelling and educational.

Step 5

The Department of Education released the videos over their statewide platform, and each module was viewed by every employee in West Virginia’s public school system.

Step 6

Then it was time to recruit. We developed and executed an advertising campaign designed to engage a regional audience and procure applications.

Step 7

Program launch!

Step 8

Rinse and repeat. We continue to provide support to NewForce by managing the program’s ongoing communications needs.

This graphic was printed on a mirror cling for schools to put in their bathrooms.
This poster was sent to schools statewide.
A fact sheet to help teachers recognize signs of abuse accompanied the video modules in the trainings.

This training is the best I have received as a teacher in the WV school system. Hearing firsthand accounts from survivors and the real stories of the people in the CPS made the content so meaningful to me. It has given me more tools to support children in my classroom who have experienced abuse.”

— WV Public School Teacher

Impact

The training series was recognized by the Telly Awards, an international awards program that honors excellence in video and television.

The modules have been viewed by thousands of public school employees across the state of West Virginia. By providing these key adults with a clearer understanding of and the protocols for preventing and responding to child sexual abuse, the videos are now a integral component of efforts to diminish the incidence of abuse, to effectively protect and support children experiencing abuse, and to further the healthy development of children statewide.


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