Prevention & Education

Prevention Programs

To accomplish our mission of eliminating violence in all relationships, New Directions implements several prevention programs that supplement our services. By educating community members about domestic, intimate partner, and sexual violence, we hope to shape Knox County into a place where citizens do not tolerate abuse and instead promote healthy, loving relationships.

Flirting or Hurting?

Teaches middle-school students about sexual harassment, how to set appropriate boundaries with peers, and where to get help if someone is harassing them.

Safe Dates

Teaches high school students about healthy relationships and signs of abuse. Learn more at

Media Literacy

Teaches middle and high-school youth skills for thinking critically about TV, movies, music, and other media, focusing on gender and violence.

Child Assault Prevention (CAP)

Education programs in pre-schools and elementary schools in assault prevention. The two- to three-day series uses role plays and videos to discuss the prevention of violence by bullies, strangers and persons known to the child. Children learn and practice assertiveness and active bystander skills.

Second Step

Teaches preschool and elementary-age children impulse control, anger management, and empathy. Learn more about Second Step at

Stewards of Children

Stewards of Children is a child sexual abuse prevention program that seeks to educate and equip adults to protect  children. This 2.5 hour training is available to schools, parents, churches, and other community groups free of charge. Learn more at

Respecting Each Other

A two-session program for upper elementary students teaching sexual harassment prevention focusing on assertiveness and active bystander skills.

Healthy Relationships

A one-session program for high school juniors and seniors designed as a “refresher” for Safe Dates. Discussion focuses on consensual vs. coercive relationships and active bystander skills.


DELTA FOCUS is a grant-funded program that “goes upstream” to prevent sexual and intimate partner violence before it occurs. DELTA FOCUS engages the men, women, and children of Knox County community through the DELTA FOCUS Committee, Teen Advisory Council, “See the Signs” workplace training, and programs for men and boys.

See the Signs

See the Signs is a training program for area businesses that encourages bystander intervention. Employers and employees learn to watch for and identify behaviors that could lead to sexual or intimate partner violence. This training empowers individuals to safely and effectively intervene in key situations, preventing sexual and intimate partner violence. For more information, visit

Teen Advisory Council

The Teen Advisory Council is a group of passionate, informed high school students who serve as ambassadors of healthy relationships in their schools and communities. The Teen Advisory Council is trained by New Directions Staff, and takes that training into the community through projects and events of their design. One of the TAC’s annual events is the “Color for a Cause” 5K in downtown Mount Vernon.

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The DELTA FOCUS Committee is a group of area citizens committed to advocating for the prevention of intimate partner violence. Each month, committee members work within their personal and professional networks to raise awareness about intimate partner violence and related issues, helping to support social systems that prevent IPV and promote healthy relationships.

Learn More

Engaging Men and Boys

DELTA FOCUS works to engage men and boys and to encourage them to partner in the work of preventing intimate partner violence. Coaching Boys into Men is a school program centered around the special relationship between athletic coaches and young men. The program provides coaches with resources to help their players develop healthy, respectful habits and ultimately prevent intimate partner violence and sexual harassment. For more information, visit

“Going Upstream” – The Public Health Parable

A man and a woman were fishing along the banks of a stream. Suddenly, a person comes bobbing down the river, struggling for life. The fisherfolk rush to rescue her. A moment later, they spot another person who must be rescued. This happens again and again all afternoon till the fisherfolk are exhausted from constantly pulling people out of the river.

Eventually the man and the woman think, “We need to go upstream and find out why so many people are falling in the water.”

The two walk up the stream and find a cliff where people are drawn to the edge to look at the river rushing by, but there is no safe way to do this. Many of them fall. The fisherfolk decide to build a barrier on the cliff. Now, people can look at the river in safety. Every now and then someone still falls in the water and must be rescued, but many more lives are saved.

Check out this video from EquiateTV illustrating the parable on YouTube.

Emergency Exit