Nemaha County First To Support Safe Dates Curriculum

AUBURN – Nemaha County commissioners are the first in Project Response’s five-county area to agree to provide funding to give the Safe Dates curriculum a chance at a second year.

Desaray Johnson, who is teaching the curriculum to four schools in the region, said testing shows that knowledge important to prevention increases by 30 percent for participating students. That knowledge includes topics of healthy boundaries, relationships and consent.

Johnson: “Letting them recognize what abuse is, what it looks like, how to react to certain feelings of anger instead of lashing out, how to help a friend who is being abused, setting boundaries is important to start at a younger age, so they know what that looks like when they are getting into relationships.”

Ashley Robertson said Project Response did not receive its Rape Prevention and Education Grant from the state Department of Health and Human Services for next year and does not expect an increase in grant funding elsewhere.

Robertson: “There’s really no room to write her in to the other ones, so, it’s either requests from the county or requests from like our donors.”

County commissioners said they expect to approve the funding when they begin work on their budget next summer.

Mellage: “I think that  you’re talking to a board that is going to say yes and $2,000 would be agreeable to us.”

Robertson said Nemaha County’s commitment is encouraging.

Robertson: “This was our last county commissioners meeting that we’ve went to. We went to all five of our counties – Johnson, Pawnee, Otoe and Richardson counties, as well as Nemaha County today, requesting that they help fund our prevention acts.”

Project Response, which has offices in Falls City and Nebraska City, is still waiting to hear from the four other counties.

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