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The Services Empowering Rights of Victims (SERV) education and prevention team acts as a community resource for spreading awareness of the severity and nuances of domestic and sexual violence and human trafficking. SERV offers public and private presentations regarding healthy relationships, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic and sexual violence, human trafficking, and LGBTQ+ competency and inclusivity. Workshop types include: bystander intervention, media literacy, documentary film screenings, and more.
SERV will cater presentations to audiences ranging from adolescents to adults. You can also get involved with spreading awareness about violence prevention in your community by joining a local Violence Prevention Coalition or attending one of our events.
SERV offers free screenings of documentaries that explore domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking, and gender stereotypes. For more information on some of the films that are available, follow the links below:
- Audrie & Daisy
- Finding Jenn's Voice*
- Healing Neen‡
- The Hunting Ground
- The Mask You Live In
- Miss Representation
- Playground: The Child Sex Trade in America‡
* available with closed captioning
† available with English subtitles
‡ available with Spanish subtitles
SERV's Media Literacy component is a prevention effort, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Sexual Assault Abuse and Rape Care Program, which aims to help schools and other organizations in Camden, Cumberland, and Gloucester Counties promote equity and prevent violence. Through the development of media literacy skills, participants learn the connection between media messages, gender inequity, and the occurrence of violence. Participants are also provided with opportunities to help spread the program’s lessons to peers, family, and community members.
SERV is committed to facilitating positive change in attitudes and beliefs regarding sexual and domestic violence and is dedicated to preventing interpersonal violence. Research has shown that people exposed to uncensored, sexualized media without sufficient ability to judge and question their messages may develop high-risk norms regarding domestic and sexual violence. Youth in particular need to develop critical-thinking skills to navigate the negative dimensions of popular culture, such as the impact of violence in the media, rigid gender stereotyping, homophobia and transphobia, and the sexualization of children. The Media Literacy curriculum’s objectives help youth and young adults explore:
- How media messages reinforce or challenge the social norms that affect our attitudes and behaviors toward one another.
- The diverse methods utilized by the media to get the “target” to believe their message and/or take action accordingly.
- How to deconstruct media messages to uncover hidden subtexts.
- How to reconstruct media messages that reflect the positive aspects of self-esteem and healthy relationships.
The curriculum is flexible and can be customized for the appropriate developmental level. The lessons can be easily adapted if educators wish to explore specific concepts in greater depth or tie them into the school’s health, humanities, business, or social studies courses. SERV encourages educators to continually explore music, television, print, and the many other outlets in our media culture in order to keep examples current and relevant for students.
SERV promotes Bystander Intervention as a preventive skill. Bystander Intervention is the concept that third parties who witness gender-based-violence can prevent escalation by intervening. Bystander Intervention also conveys the idea that individuals, regardless of age, have the ability to reject gender-based-stereotypes thus reducing the potential of misinformation manifesting into violent behaviors specific to gender.