24-Hour Hotline: 434-977-7273
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Office: 434-295-7273



Charlottesville, Virginia


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Teachers

Social Learning In Any Class

As someone who cares about your students’ whole lives, we want to give you all the resources you need to incorporate social learning into the topics you already teach. Contact your local Violence Preventionists, like This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., so we can customize materials for your lessons.

Here are a few ideas:

History: Teach a lesson on the history of feminism in various locations around the world. Make sure to explain why the feminist movements began: horrifying violence, restricted lives, and blocked access to jobs, education and healthcare. Include the current struggles for equality—stopping sexual violence on college campuses, fighting street harassment, stopping sex trafficking, working for equal pay, etc.

English / Theater: Teach students about rape culture and have them create their own spoken word poems about their emotional response to what they learned. Have students find literature or plays that relate to these issues, or have them write their own!

Visual Art: Have students create marketing campaigns or visual art that sends a message about 'slut'-shaming, consent, or gender roles.

Math: Review word problems to make sure they don’t reinforce harmful gender norms.

Science: When students form lab teams, be sure they aren’t gender-segregated, and that girls have opportunities for leadership as well as boys.


Social Norms

A girl yells, “Slut!” as another girl walks by.

A guy acts like he’s tough when you know he really cares.

You’re concerned about how some kids are judging a student who tends to wear revealing clothing.

These aren’t isolated incidents.

Why do gender and sexuality work their way into the ways students hurt each other? One explanation is SOCIAL NORMS, “the perceived standards of acceptable attitudes and behavior prevalent within a community.” * If students perceive a level of social acceptability of sexual shaming and gender inequality, they are more likely to continue these harmful patterns of relating. Changing norms can be intimidating. But if even 50% of the teachers in your school commit to shifting norms, you can encourage enough students to change that they actually shift the school climate. We’ve seen it done before—with seatbelts, sexual orientation, and race (although there’s still more to do on all those fronts!). For example, we don’t expect girls to wear skirts every day anymore. That shift in social norms happened because people like you took small actions to increase the freedom of the women and girls around them. We can do the same with all harmful gender norms.

Gender = A Performance

Gender norms influence the way people dress, groom, behave, and expect others to act based on the physical body parts they’re born with. Gender norms are not natural, but are created by a group of people and formally and informally taught to children as they grow up. The problem with gender norms is that people use them to stereotype a group of people (“boys will be boys”), which can result in prejudice, inequality, and even violence. Like racism, sexism groups people by physical features (with racism, a person is treated unequally based on skin color; with sexism, a person is treated unequally based on perceptions of their genitalia). Gender norms are a problem because instead of finding out who we are as individuals, many of us simply ‘perform’ these gender roles to meet others’ expectations.

Ways to make a difference every day:

  • Don’t let harassment pass unaddressed. It sends students the message that it’s alright to be sexually aggressive or demeaning. Many students who continually get away with harassment go on to commit more serious crimes in their adult lives.
  • Encourage students to practice empathy on a regular basis. Demonstrate it as often as possible.
  • Educate yourself about gender inequality and gender-based violence. Practice listening to people with different experiences than yourself.
  • Share with students about your personal commitment to gender equality and mutual respect.
  • Be careful how you talk about dress code infractions. Be sure not to imply that revealing clothing decreases a person’s actual value, even if it breaks a social norm of ‘professionalism’.
  • Because social norms push them in the opposite direction… If you’re a Math or Science teacher, make a special effort to encourage girls to stay interested. If you’re an English or Arts teacher, make a special effort to encourage boys stay interested.

Trainings for Your Team

Gather your academic department for an ‘in-service’ training or discussion group during a long planning block. If you’re having trouble finding time, we’re used to troubleshooting, so give us a call at 434-295-7273 x25.

Possible topics include:

  • Developing Lessons that Incorporate Gender and Non-Violence
  • Teaching from the Bystander's Perspective
  • Gender and Adolescent Development
  • Boys and Masculinity
  • Understanding Harassment in School
  • How to Respond to Harassment
  • Cultivating an Empathetic Classroom

Visit Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment in Schools.

Upcoming Events

Survivors' Support Group
Aug 21 2017 - Aug 21 2017
06:30PM - 07:30PM
Emotion Regulation Part 1
Aug 23 2017 - Aug 23 2017
06:30PM - 08:30PM
Emotion Regulation Part 1
Aug 30 2017 - Aug 30 2017
06:30PM - 08:30PM
Emotion Regulation Part 1
Sep 06 2017 - Sep 06 2017
06:30PM - 08:30PM
Alex and Ani Charmed by Charity benefitting SARA
Sep 26 2017 - Sep 26 2017
05:00PM - 08:00PM

About SARA

The mission of the Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA) is to eliminate sexual violence and its impact by providing education, advocacy and support to men, women and children. Our vision is a community free from sexual violence.

Communities Served

We are located in Charlottesville, Virginia and serve:

  • City of Charlottesville
  • Albemarle County
  • Louisa County
  • Nelson County
  • Fluvanna County
  • Greene County

Contact SARA

 Charlottesville, Virginia

 24-Hour Hotline: 434-977-7273
        Hotline Disclosure

 Office: 434-295-7273

 Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 or fill in the form on our contact page