Prevention & Education Program

We can end violence. The Prevention and Education Program (PEP) teaches healthy relationship skills and sexual violence prevention to students, educators and parents. PEP provides training in trauma-informed support for professionals, best practice for businesses and facilitates relevant workshops for your everyday life. PEP also provides training and screening tools to law enforcement, health care providers, social service agencies and other responders and systems.

WISE educators are trained facilitators in many of the recognized and emerging prevention curricula– for example: Care for Kids child sexual assault prevention for young children, Safe-T for middle school youth,  Mentors in Violence Prevention for sports teams and groups, WholeSomeBodies on healthy sexuality for adult role models, and Cut It Out for salons. All of our programs are developed with this background in mind, and tailored to fit the unique needs of our Upper Valley Community.

It is important that WISE materials are available throughout the community for victims and survivors to access in safe ways and for everyone to learn more about ending violence. Call or email and request materials for your business or organization.

Under 18

Figuring out relationships can be tricky. You deserve to know what healthy, safe and respectful relationships look like. With information and resources, you can evaluate your relationships, understand consent and warning signs, and learn how to provide support to friends.

WISE advocates are available to support you every hour, every day. Call our crisis line for immediate support. Please keep in mind that our advocates are mandated reporters and are required by law to report suspected child abuse or neglect. To maintain anonymity, consider leaving out details like your age.

What are the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship?

Know your boundaries

If you are thinking about sex…

How can I increase my safety?

On-line Resources

WISE Parents

As parents, grandparents, and people who interact with young people, you play a huge role in setting the values and social norms for your kids and their friends. From the profound moments of parenthood to everyday conversations, you have opportunities to raise young people free from violence. You can counter the harmful messages they receive with positive skills and strengths to create a value system and environment to end gender-based violence. Together, we can create a more peaceful place.

“As a parent of five children, ages 10-21, I can’t emphasis enough how much I appreciate the educational opportunities that WISE provides our community. I’ve attended many WISE events, including Parent’s Night, and I always walk away learning something new. The staff are warm and approachable in their delivery of research-based information regarding the sexual and emotional development and health of our youth. It’s nice to have a place to listen, ask questions, and walk away with skills on how to address what can be challenging topics with our kids. Community forums allow all of us to participate in a way that keeps all of our children safe, in a proactive way, hopefully preventing incidents before they occur, definitely making us aware of what to be on the lookout for and how to help our children in a gentle and respectful manner.” – Ann DiLalla, Hanover Parent

How can I help my child develop, safe, healthy and fulfilling relationships?
Set boundaries

Set boundaries that help your child safely experience all of the relationships in your child's life and explore the amazing capabilities of devices. Boundaries do not have to be the same for each child, family, relationship or situation. Think about what makes sense for you, your child and your family.

Some Examples:
All devices are charged at night in one space, not in anyone's bedroom.
Boyfriends and girlfriends can hang out at your home with supervision until trust is established and you feel comfortable letting them hang out alone.
Sunday nights are family nights! No friends, work or devices!
Video games are acceptable, just not ones that encourage players to kill half naked women.

Share your fears

Share your fears and have a conversation about your concerns with your child.

What kind of relationship(s) do you want your child to have? What concerns you about the current boyfriend's/girlfriend's/friend's behaviors?

What do you think are some of the pitfalls of devices? Ask what your child thinks the pros and cons are, and what your child does to stay safe.

Develop family values

Develop your family values around devices and relationships together. You can be very clear about what the bottom line is in terms of your expectations and the consequences. There is a greater chance that you will be successful if you have agreement and understanding. You will also be building your child’s skills for life choices.

Talk to your child

Talk to your child about what healthy relationships look like and how your child deserves to be treated by others. Positive behaviors in person are the same positive behaviors online. Negative behaviors in person are the same negative behaviors online. If someone is controlling, jealous, demanding or demeaning – in person and/or on online – counteract the inappropriate behavior. Tell your child how amazing your child is. Tell your child how much you want your child to experience a relationship with someone who is respectful. Talk to your child about how to speak to friends. Is the slang that is used respectful to everyone? Does your child think about the deeper meaning of the words? Does your child consider the impact the behavior has on others even if that was not the intention? Help your child develop empathy and think critically about the impact on others.

Ask questions

Ask your child about existing relationship(s). Help to identify your child's own expectations for relationships and build a critical lens for the unhealthy messages that bombard us all.

What does your child like about the current relationship(s)? What does your child wish would be different? How does therelationship(s) improve or inhibit the things that your child loves and wants from life? What makes your child feel loved or nurtured?

Ask your child about media messages. What does your child think particular song lyrics mean? Does your child feel that the relationship in a particular show is healthy? Why does your child think relationships are portrayed in a particular way in the media?

Let your child talk to you

Let your child know that you are available to talk about anything (only if it is true). Sometimes kids (and adults) want to talk but do not know how to start the conversation. Create opportunities for your child to talk about life with you, even when nothing is wrong. If we normalize talking about relationships, it is easier to talk when things become difficult. Ask your child about how things are going. How is your child's boyfriend or girlfriend? Is your child still happy in the relationship?

Be honest with your child about whether or not you will be able to keep the information they share with you private.

If your child does not feel comfortable talking to you, or if you do not feel like you are the right adult to have these conversations, help identify another trusted adult.

Be a role model

Use your own relationships to demonstrate a model of what is good, what is not great, and how you have responded in your own life. Talk about what your hopes and dreams are for your child and how these might be different from your child’s own hopes and dreams.

How can I support my child who has been a victim of dating or sexual violence or who has witnessed domestic violence?
Listen and believe

Does your child recognize that the relationship is abusive or what happened was sexual assault? It is not usually helpful to say “that was rape!” or “that is abusive!” If your child is not there yet, you can pick up what is said and be curious about it. For example, “You said that he’s always been respectful to you and that when he’s mad at you he calls you some really terrible names. (Your partner) and I definitely fight, but we have never called each other names like that – how does that make you feel?”

If your child does recognize that what happened is bad, believe how bad. Don’t question whether your child’s story may be exaggerated or may have been a misunderstanding. Young people experience very real violence, and while we may really not want to believe it, the most important thing is that your child knows you are on the same side.

A note about child sexual abuse: Sometimes we really do not want to believe that something as horrible as sexual abuse could happen to our child. We do not want to believe that someone we trusted could do something like that, or that we did not prevent it from happening, or maybe even know it was happening. If your child discloses sexual abuse, please take a deep breath, and say how sorry you are and how much you love your child. Even if your child lies sometimes (a common outcome of experiencing abuse and feeling like you are not able to tell), please do not assume your child is lying. Many people have experienced child sexual abuse. While the impact can be huge, one of the most critical mitigating factors is that the child is believed and receives support when disclosing the abuse. Your life, and your child’s life, is not over – you can be a huge support to your child just by believing, and you can get support for yourself by calling WISE.

Let your child talk

Let your child know that it is okay to talk about what happened. If your child does not want talk to you, help identify another safe adult. Maybe connect just to make sure the adult has the necessary resources to give positive and honest information. Do not try to glean information that your child shared in confidence.

Express concern for your child’s safety.

Include your child in decisions

Include your child in the “safety planning” process. Ask what things your child needs to feel and be safe. What will your child do when feeling unsafe?

Talk about healthy relationships

Talk to your child about what healthy relationships look like and how your child deserves to be treated.

Tell your child abuse is never okay

Let your child know that the abusive behaviors are not okay and that it is never your child’s fault.

Be clear about safety needs

Be clear about what you have to do to keep your child safe. Give as much control as possible in what happens next, and be honest about what outcomes could be. If you do not know the next steps, include your child in the process. Try very hard not to “punish” your child for someone else’s behavior (i.e., taking away phones, not allowing your child to go out). Restrictions may make you feel like you can keep your child safe, but usually do not end well. Restrictions do not focus on the problem: someone else is being abusive and hurting your child.

Read the supporting survivors booklet
Resources for Parents

Scarlateen has a series specifically for parents. We particularly love their piece what to do when you don't like your adolescent's partner.


Read, 10 Habits That Infringe On Rights of Children (And How To Change Them).


Youth Advocacy Task Force blog
A collaborative blog written by the Youth Advocates of the VT Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. Blog posts are written specifically for adults with young people in their life.


School Counseling By Heart
A local school counselor blogs about teaching elementary school children sexual violence prevention.


WISE often facilitates presentations for parents. Presentations can be one-time conversations by request or the WholeSomeBodies workshops which are generally 8-12 hours over the course of one or more days.


WISE has 30+ trained advocates to support you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call our crisis line  (866) 348-WISE for immediate support. We are very happy to support you with our expertise around youth, sexuality and relationships.


Activity: Paper Hugs!

Conversation: Hugging is one kind of touch. Some people REALLY like hugging and some people don’t. Sometimes hugging is fun and sometimes we’re not in the mood. To find out if it’s ok to hug someone, we should ask before, and only do it when they say YES!

Activity: Trace your hands and attach them to a long strip of paper. Decorate your paper hugs however you see fit – maybe with stickers or drawings of what makes you happy.

Practice asking before touching: “Would you like a hug?” “Can I shake your hand?” “High five?” Wait for the response, and if the answer is NO that is OK! Offer a different touch (“Would you prefer an elbow bump?”) or ask a different person! You can also clarify answers “yes, but please don’t squeeze me hard.”

Afterwards: Notice when people touch and ask your child about it – “Do you think that person wants to be touched? How do you know?”


For over 20 years, WISE has been working with students and schools to prevent violence before it impacts young lives. Our goal is to permeate students, educators, and the community with skills for healthy and fulfilling relationships. WISE’s K-12 program content is drawn from nationally-recognized violence prevention curricula, tailored to meet the specific needs and climate of individual schools, and stays relevant through our participation in national, state and regional professional work. We work with schools to expand the environmental support for students with programming in PE, Health, Guidance, English, Social Studies, Family and Consumer Sciences, History, and more. Contact the Prevention and Education Program to learn more about how we can integrate these life lessons into your curriculum. All WISE educators are certified crisis advocates in Vermont and New Hampshire and are able to provide on-site support. We are also mandated reporters of child abuse or neglect.

Elementary Schools

Middle Schools

High Schools



If I have never been a victim and I have never hurt anyone, why does it matter to me?

WISE believes that it is the community’s responsibility to end domestic and sexual violence. You are invited to events that WISE hosts throughout our community. There are three annual training sessions to become a WISE crisis line volunteer. WISE can develop training for your group to learn more about how to end domestic and sexual violence. We facilitate training relevant to specific groups and professions.

Recognize, Respond, Refer

Everyone can do something to end domestic and sexual violence by learning simple interventions.

Recognize the warning signs of violence, abuse and power and control

Respond to victims or situations in ways that are empathic and safe

Refer victims to sources of support like WISE (866-348-WISE)

WISE can facilitate building strategies for individuals and groups, and help gain an understanding about equality in relationships.

Medical providers

Law enforcement and prosecutors

Beauty salons


Welcome to WISE Words!

In our mission to end gender-based violence, we created an educational awareness campaign to further prevention messages and strategies to Upper Valley youth and the adults in their lives. We work in nine Upper Valley school districts to provide a strong classroom curriculum using the best practices and emerging research for violence prevention. The radio segments mirror our high school curriculum to reinforce classroom messages and give adults access to information that promotes conversation.

The goal of our Youth Prevention Program is to prevent gender-based violence, bolster protective factors, and increase prevention techniques across the community. Our strategies reflect the Socioecological Model: connecting the individual, relationship, community and societal factors that influence real and lasting change. WISE Words segments aim to inspire listeners to realize connections in their own lives and our greater culture. Together we can foster communities that are safe, happy and fulfilling.

Tune in!

WGXL (92.3)
M-F 7:20am & 5:30pm

The River (93.9)
M-F 7:25am & 5:10pm

99 Rock (99.3)
T-F 7:55 am

We hope you will find our segments engaging, relevant and thought-provoking. As always, we appreciate your feedback and suggestions. If you have comments or ideas for future WISE Words please send us an email!

Intro to WISE Words – we all deserve to be safe: Jacob, Windsor High School, 2016

To learn more, we invite you to listen to all our :60 radio segments shared below:

What is Rape Culture?

Rape culture is a term that introduces the concept that society creates an environment that normalizes violence against populations that do not have power. Domestic and sexual violence are crimes that most often target women as a way to create a cultural imbalance of power.

Some individuals use violence, but they do not live in a vacuum. We live in a society that values some people over other people, defines power as control over others, and demonstrates violence as a means towards building power. Most of us get these messages in our lives and most of us get messages that challenge us to be kind, compassionate and equitable. Most of us chose not to be abusive.

Many of us can also think back to situations when we knew someone was doing something that felt uncomfortable. We often justify or rationalize the behavior to fit within the parameters of what seems normal. During one college training, a participant mentioned that people know who the “creepy” guys are and share information. A different participant was surprised and asked his former fraternity brothers if anyone knew who the “creepy” guy was. At first, all said no. Later, all were able to identify people who may be the “creepy” guy. Sometimes we do not have a chance to think about inappropriate and abusive behavior, even though we understand acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

One analogy is that abusive people are like a missing stair. We go out of our ways to avoid them and we accommodate people who we know might be dangerous. But too rarely, we stop and fix the problem.

A high school class asked WISE to present harmful media messages. Students desperately wanted to talk about songs that glorify violence against women (i. e., Eminem, Blurred Lines, Maroon5 Animal, and SO MANY OTHERS). How often do we hum along to men singing about burning their girlfriends to death without thinking about what that means?

These subtle messages, the things that are messed up when we stop to think, the inconsistencies and imbalances of power are all examples of Rape Culture. It is the camouflage that covers abusive behaviors and allows abusers to get away with it for so long. It is what distracts us with “why does she stay/wear that/go there” rather than focusing on the person and culture that is causing harm.

We have to start asking better questions. Rather than asking “why doesn’t she just leave,” we should ask, “why does he abuse her” and “why does society drive the getaway car.”