Problems Experienced by Replication Sites

Eighty percent of the school personnel who were interested in the Safe Harbor program cited the following reasons for their interest:

  • To prevent violence in my school.

  • To address current violence in my school.

  • To learn new skills so that I am better prepared to address violence issues.

  • To teach students new skills in coping with violence.

  • To change students’ attitudes about violence.

  • To promote a violence-free school environment.

Between 65 and 70 percent mentioned reasons that include raising awareness about the impact of violence and victimization, providing a safe space within the school, changing students’ violent behaviors, and enhancing existing services by adding Safe Harbor components. More than 80 percent of personnel were aware of the following behaviors in their school: threatening, insulting/name calling, hitting, and shoving. Between 53 and 70 percent were aware of acts of intimidation, slapping, and uninvited sexual advances. Thirty-five percent were aware of incidents of choking others and carrying weapons.


"Safe Harbor provides our students with an opportunity to work out and explore issues of violence and victimization in a forum that is supportive, empowering, and educational."

-Replication Site Principal,
Long Beach, California

School personnel at the replication sites reported that their schools currently address issues of violence most frequently through counseling services (88 percent), parent involvement (64 percent), peer mediation/conflict resolution (53 percent), violence prevention posters (41 percent), and teacher trainings and lectures (less than 18 percent). Other methods stated were disciplinary consequences and police/youth services involvement.

As part of the assessment process, a survey asked schools to rate how various stakeholders would perceive certain issues. One issue was the seriousness of violence in the school, and the other was the priority that the stakeholders place on addressing violence. On a scale from one to five (not serious to very serious)—with an average rating of 3.9—school personnel believe they perceive violence to be a more serious issue than do other stakeholders. Teachers and other school personnel rated their view of the seriousness of violence between an average of 3.7 and 3.8; parents and students rated their concern at 3.3 and 3.1 respectively. Participants in the Safe Harbor program perceived themselves as being the most interested in addressing violence in their schools (an average of 4.8). Teachers and other school personnel on average rated addressing violence in school as a priority between 4.2 and 4.4 while parents and students rated it at 4.0 and 3.2 respectively.

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Safe Harbor: A School-Based Victim Assistance/Violence Prevention Program
January 2003