ReInventing The Cycle began in Septemer 2006 after founder, Cathy DuBois, attended VIRTUS training as part of a Sunday school teaching requirement. VIRTUS is the brand name that identifies best practice programs designed to help prevent wrongdoing and promote “rightdoing” within religious organizations.
The training course covered the topic of molestation. Cathy was shocked by the numerous statistics associated with this crime. The course had a tremendous impact on her. She never was molested; nor knew any close friends who were, as far as she knew. Still, Cathy felt compelled to get involved. That evening, Cathy wrote a story she hoped could be used a tool to help protect children, “When the Stranger to LOOK OUT for Isn’t a Stranger,” and Project S.T.O.P. was born!
Over the last three-and-a-half years, with the help of others, Cathy’s book developed into a educational program called Project S.T.O.P. (Stop The Oppressive Predator). Project S.T.O.P. consists of an interactive book, video with structured activities, and a “My Friend” doll that aims to provide children with the skills to stop and/or prevent molestation.
Acquisition of skills is promoted through the interactive book, facilitated discussions, structured activities, role-playing scenarios, and journaling. Project S.T.O.P. is based on both the Cognitive Behavioral Interventions and the Social Influence and Competence Enhancement models of prevention. A small-scale study was designed and implemented to test the acceptability, age appropriateness, and preliminary efficacy of the program. The research studies and outcomes reviewed for these studies involved third-grade children. A pre-test was administered to determine prior knowledge, the program was presented, and a post-test was administered to determine if new knowledge was acquired. Outcomes reflect an overall increase in scores from pre-tests to post-tests.
Project S.T.O.P. is the first program being developed by Reinventing the Cycle. This program and others will focus on providing sensitive, yet direct educational programs that will focus on breaking dysfunctional life cycles and reinventing positive, healthy ones. The programs will make abstract concepts concrete through the interactive programs that will be offered. Skills taught by ReInventing the Cycle will help empower people to practice healthier and happier ways of living.