We know one in six boys and one in four girls will be sexually assaulted before they turn 18 (Dube et al, 2005). Findings from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) also show that sexual violence is a very common experience in youth and that youth that experience sexual violence are more likely to be revictimized in adulthood (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], n.d.).
Based on these statistics, you likely have interacted with a child that has experienced sexual abuse without knowing it. Incorporating trauma-informed practices into your daily interactions with children is a way to make all students feel safe in school and an opportunity to be that one caring adult. Trauma impacts how students learn and interact with adults and their peers. Educators fill a unique role in caring for and nurturing students, which provides a powerful opportunity to minimize the impact of trauma on a child’s life and help foster resiliency.
NSVRC recently released a new e-learning course titled, “One Caring Adult.” This three-part course for teachers and other school professionals consists of seven videos and a workbook that provide information, resources, tools, and tips on how to create a trauma-informed classroom. Throughout the course you will hear from multiple experts including a teacher, a psychologist, a sexual assault advocate, and a trauma specialist. The accompanying workbook will guide you through the course. We encourage advocates to share this course with the educators they work with to help build trauma-informed classrooms to better serve children and create a safe and comforting space for all students.
Check out some additional resources on children and trauma:
Grounding Tools – This short interactive online tool offers instructions on five different types of grounding tools. Use these tools with children to help calm their mind and body down during a scary or stressful time.
Watson’s Day – This short video shows how a teen sexual assault survivor reacts to daily life. This video can be used when working with children to show them that everyone has bad days and the importance of helping other children because you do not know what they may be going through.
Resilience In Children Podcasts – In this two-part video podcast, Casey Keene from the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence explains resilience and how children who have experienced adverse childhood experiences can thrive. Part two discusses how to foster resilience in children.
Creating Trauma-Informed Classrooms – (PDF, 16 pages) This document provides tips for teachers and those working with young people on how they can support students who have experienced sexual violence and how they can create trauma-informed spaces.