Pathways to a Safer Sitka is Sitka’s primary prevention coalition comprised of 10 organizations representing a diverse cross-seciton of the community. Pathways was formed by SAFV in 2008 to develop a community-wide plan for preventing first time occurrences of domestic violence (DV) and sexual assault (SA).
To achieve our vision, several goals were created:
Pathways partners meet at the Pioneer Home Manager's House for the group's quarterly retreats. (Photo by Anne Brice, SAFV)
GOAL 1: Sitka schools have increased the extent to which they promote and foster health social-emotional environments..
GOAL 2: Youth are proactive within school and after-school settings that support positive peer culture.
GOAL 3: Boys and men are proactive within the community in building mutual respect and equality between men and women.
GOAL 4: Social service agencies have increased the extent to which they promote and foster healthy social-emotional environments.
PATHWAYS COMMUNITY COALITION
Pathways to a Safer Sitka maintains a prevention focus by meeting quarterly for retreats that provide opportunity and space to share resources, connect with partner agencies, reflect, review and make improvements to our prevention plan as necessary.
Our coalition partners play a significant role in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the Pathways plan with each agency connected to and actively working on at least one goal.
The Sitka Native Education Program is one of SAFV's key partner agencies. (Photo by Anne Brice, SAFV)
Our partners include Sitka Tribe of Alaska, Sitka Native Education Program, Center For Community, Sitka Counseling & Prevention Services, Youth Advocates of Sitka, Sitka School District, Mount Edgecumbe High School, Kettleson Memorial Library.
The Sitka Native Education Program, as part of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, is spearheading the Lingít language and cultural K-12 curriculum being developed in partnership with the Sitka School District. Emphasis on cultural heritage and family traditions not only builds resiliency within an individual, but also creates opportunities for building respect and understanding of differences within schools and across communities.
The Sitka School District has also been working to incorporate healthy relationships courses within the school curriculum. For the past several years, the school has implemented the Fourth R ("R" stands for "relationships"), a comprehensive, skill-based program for grades 7-9 that promotes healthy relationships and nonviolence. Teaching young people about healthy relationships is a core component in preventing interpersonal violence. Teens are more at risk for intimate partner violence than adults, and the severity among partners has been shown to increase if the pattern of abuse was established in adolescence.
Mt. Edgecumbe High School has been active in engaging its students in events, like the annual Choose Respect March and programs, like the Sitka Youth Leadership Committee, that aim to foster youth leadership in building a community of respect and nonviolence. There is a growing number of youth leaders in Alaska working together to influence positive change and promote a peer culture of respect and equality. Youth leadership is important to the movement in ending violence, as young people typically influence one another as much or more than adults in their lives do.
Sitka Counseling & Prevention Services has been implementing programs including Active Parenting Now and Children In Between to support healthy parenting. These programs teach parents how to raise a child by using encouragement, building the child's self-esteem, and creating a relationship with the child based on active listening, honest communication, and problem solving. Read more about Sitka Counseling.