On this Page: Signs of Sexual Assault | What to Do | School Violence & Bullying
Montana youth are sexually active
The 2013 Montana Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) found that 46% of 9-12th graders have had sexual intercourse; 12.5% became sexually active at age 15. Almost 9% reported they were physically forced to have sexual intercourse.
Adolescents are the group most often victimized by sexual assault, yet they are also the least likely to tell anyone.
A teenager may fear disclosing rape because
She/he was drinking or doing drugs
She/he believes that parents will blame him/her
She/he was at a forbidden place (e.g., a club, a party)
She/he was already sexually active
She/he wants to protect the family’s feelings
She/he doesn’t know that forced sex is rape
Teenagers who have been assaulted often have problems that arise from the rape
Often, these signs are thought of as problems in themselves, but they may indicate an underlying cause that is sexual assault.
These signs include
Sudden personality changes
Avoidance of certain people
Withdrawal from usual school or social activities
Sudden phobic behavior
Flagrant promiscuous behavior
Drug or alcohol abuse
Self-destructive or risk-taking behavior
Sudden alienation from peers and family
Development of eating disorders
Diminished self-worth to the point of suicide
If a teenager discloses that she/he has been raped
Violence & Bullying
The 2013 Montana Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) found that 26 of 9-12 graders had been bullied on campus in the past 12 months. Twenty-three percent had been in a physical fight. Twenty-five percent carried a weapon the past 30 days, 10% on school property.
Why didn’t we see it coming?
There are early warning signs in most cases of violence to self and others – certain behavioral and emotional signs that, when viewed in context, can signal a troubled child.
Early warning signs provide you the impetus to check out your concerns and address your child’s needs. They allow you to act responsibly by getting help for your child before problems escalate.
Don’t rely on teachers, administrators and other school support staff — they are not typically trained to analyze children’s feelings and motives. However, they are on the front line when it comes to observing troublesome behavior and making referrals to appropriate professionals. They also play a significant role in responding to diagnostic information provided by specialists.
Educators and families can increase their ability to recognize early warning signs and together can review school records for patterns of behavior or sudden changes in behavior.
Early Warning Signs
Patterns of impulsive and chronic hitting, or intimidating others
Excessive feelings of isolation and being alone and bullying behaviors
Excessive feelings of rejection
History of discipline problems
Being a victim of violence
Intolerance for differences and prejudicial attitudes
Feelings of being pick on and persecuted
Drug and alcohol use
Low school interest and poor academic performance
Affiliation with gangs
Expression of violence in writing and/or drawings
Inappropriate access to, possession of, and use of firearms
Serious threats of violence
Early warning signs aid in identifying and referring children who may need help. None of these signs alone is sufficient for predicting aggression and violence.