Shaler Area students work to raise awareness about abuse
By Bethany Hofstetter
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Students throughout Shaler Area High School spent one week earlier this month focused on raising awareness about abuse and sexual violence.
Students in M-Powerment, a group at the high school that raises awareness about sexual assault, gender equality and issues facing young women, created RAINS Week, which stands for Rape and Abuse Igniting New Solutions, and worked with students in the high school's sports teams, clubs and health classes to display abuse statistics and raise awareness.
“We kind of got the whole entire school involved with the education part of it,” said Madi McIntyre, leader of M-Powerment.
Students in health classes researched one of 12 different abuses that were the focus of RAINS Week, which included crimes such as stalking and battery/assault, rape in the military and the sex trade.
From their research, volunteers in the school's sports programs and clubs created posters with abuse facts to be put up throughout the school hallways. Each hall focused on statistics for a different type of abuse, and hotline numbers directed people suffering from that abuse to a source of help.
During lunch periods, students in the ninth through 12th grade were invited to sign pledges to help end sexual violence through their own “positive words, actions and beliefs.”
“I kind of hope it brings to their attention that this is a serious problem, and if there are students in our school who are suffering from these problems, there are people who want to help … we want them to know someone is there,” McIntyre said.
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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