Levitas Sexual Assault Prevention Initiative

Students in the Levitas Sexual Assault Prevention Initiative will be immersed in the practice of restorative justice as a means of preventing and responding to sexual harassment and assault, especially as it relates to youth. Students will learn about the pervasive public health problem of sexual assault and sexual harassment, including the often-unrecognized predictive behaviors that can lead to sexual harm. Students will learn about restorative methodologies, including skills around facilitating restorative dialogue circles with young people.

Students will be trained to deliver the sexual assault prevention curriculum central to the law school’s Levitas Initiative for Sexual Assault Prevention using restorative dialogue circles. The Levitas Initiative program is the only research demonstration project in the country that is measuring the effectiveness of proactive restorative practices as a method to prevent sexual assault and sexual harassment with youth. The curriculum includes the following modules: 1) effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills; 2) safe communication with technology and social media; 3) healthy gender norms; 4) healthy digital, emotional, physical and sexual boundaries; 5) consent and sexual harassment; 6) bystander intervention. In some semesters, depending upon the structure of the middle school sessions, an additional module may be offered to develop cross-gender insight skills that build cross-gender empathy.

After initial training, law students will begin preparing for, mooting and then delivering the curricular modules at assigned middle schools; actual delivery of the modules will be in lieu of class time. In some semesters, law students will be joined by masters-level social work students in interdisciplinary co-facilitation teams. Levitas Initiative students may also have the opportunity to participate in the research and evaluation aspects of the program when applicable. Students will be assessed based on weekly reflection papers, individual class preparation and participation, and individual and team preparation for and delivery of Levitas prevention curriculum, including professionalism and positive interactions with the colleagues and middle school staff and students. The course is taught by C. Quince Hopkins, Director of the law school’s Erin Levitas Initiative for Sexual Assault Prevention.

This course is open to all JD students. Students who successfully complete this course will be offered the opportunity to register for a subsequent 1-credit Spring continuation course. Students who complete all four credits (3 in Fall; 1 in Spring) may use this course to satisfy the experiential requirement of the Dispute Resolution track

Key to Codes in Course Descriptions
P: Prerequisite
C: Prerequisite or Concurrent Requirement
R: Recommended Prior or Concurrent Course