New Beginnings Sexual Assault Support Services acts as a two-pronged organization. In addition to helping those who have been sexually assaulted, the nonprofit also works to educate the community on how to prevent many types of assault through the internationally recognized Green Dot program. national scale.
The Green Dot program identifies ways to prevent power-based personal violence, sexual violence, domestic violence, child abuse, bullying, bullying and bullying.
Through bystander intervention training, the Green Dot program engages bystanders to interrupt situations of imminent or potentially high risk of violence, increases self-efficacy, and provides specific skill building and strategies to increase likelihood that trained people will actually intervene.
As part of the Green Dot program, New Beginnings offers free training to groups, businesses and organizations who want to help keep their community safe.
Click here to learn more about the Green Dot Bystander training program in Owensboro.
Breanna Smith, a high school prevention educator, said she tries to go to high schools at least once every nine weeks to talk to students, usually in their freshman health class.
She tends to hold comprehensive training outside of health classes at least once a semester at Apollo High School, Henderson County High School, Owensboro Innovation Academy, and Webster County High School.
She often teaches how to respect boundaries when dealing with sexual assault and dating violence.
Smith said while teaching high school students is effective, they generally find talking to elementary school students to be just as important.
“Elementary students often don’t know what [inappropriate touching] is, so they learn what it is,” Smith said.
She said some elementary students may leak information that isn’t exactly a violation, but Smith knows the conversation opens children’s eyes to things they didn’t know before.
Outside of schools, New Beginnings tries to go into the community to teach some community members about the range of services they provide as well as the types of violence.
The model focuses on the 3 Ds: direct, delegated and distracted.
A green dot is any behavior, choice, word or attitude that counters or displaces violence – promoting safety for all and communicating complete intolerance of any type of power-based personal violence.
Smith said they sometimes get a few calls after the presentation because people aren’t always comfortable sharing information during public conversations.
“It’s always good to get out into the community because now they have that resource for us to use in the future,” Smith said.
New Beginnings services are available regardless of when the assault occurred. They employ six therapists who are Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) and one who is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. All these certifications require mastery and continuous training. They offer medical and legal defense to survivors and have victim advocates who will help them through the process.
For more information on any of their programs or services, contact them here.