7/23/2007
An Experience Teaching Chastity/Abstinence

by Sheree Havlik, Speakers Bureau Director

I was scheduled to do chastity/abstinence presentations for three 9th grade classes at a school this past year. When I finished the first presentation I headed for the rest room to wash my hands while the students filled out their evaluation forms. We do an activity that involves the students eating chips, sipping water out of a cup and spitting it back in the cup. We mix the cups of water and chip-spit to show how quickly STDs are transmitted through sexual activity. After I have poured this water from cup to cup I like to wash my hands. The restroom was right next door to the room that I was speaking in so I went in to wash my hands. A young girl came in and stood at the sink just next to me and began washing her hands. She kept looking at me so I made some small talk while we washed our hands. I went over to the hand blow dryer to dry my hands. She followed me and put her hands above mine to dry hers as well, and again, kept looking at me. Not really knowing what to do here, as this was a little strange, I continued to just speak nicely and asked her how things were going. She then asked me, “If someone is raped and they get an STD, is it their fault?” I knew immediately that there was more to this question. I told her that first of all, rape is a horrible act and that it is never the person’s fault. And if they get an STD, that is most definitely not their fault. I asked her if she knew someone that had been raped (really knowing the answer, but not wanting to assume). She began to answer, but couldn’t get the words out, so shook her head yes. I knew it was her. The sadness on her face and in her eyes was obvious. At this time another girl came into the restroom and the blow dryer went off. The young girl pressed the button on the dryer to start up again so the other girl could not hear us. I can’t even remember all that I said as I was simply reacting at this point. There is no training that prepares one for this type situation. I reiterated that rape was not her fault and that she was a very special person and that she still had a beautiful gift to give to the person that she would fall in love with and marry. I told her that no one could take that gift away from her. I told her to take her dignity and self-respect back. That no one had the right to take that from her. I told her again that she had a beautiful gift and to always remember that. At this time the other girl came out and was at the sink, and the blow dryer went off again so we could not speak any longer. We both walked back into the classroom and the young girl began filling out her evaluation form.

When studies show that teen sexuality is still up around the 50% mark, and students tell me that everyone “just does it”, I wonder if we are making any progress at all. It’s very easy to get dejected and wonder, “What good am I doing? Why do we spend so much time, money and effort to go out and talk to our youth (just once mind you), when the rest of the world is giving them lots of encouragement (every day) to be sexually active?”

We very often get good comments back from the students that say we have changed their minds or that we have inspired them. But this one went the deepest into my heart of any situation. I had about 3 minutes under a hand dryer to give a young girl back her dignity and self-respect. To have those 3 minutes was worth everything I have ever done for the pro-life cause. This emphasizes to the max what society is doing to our teenagers. In encouraging them to be sexually active, they are encouraging them to sin. And worst of all they are destroying the dignity of our young girls and hurting the souls of our boys that now believe that they “deserve” to have sex -- no matter what.

That’s why we do what we do. That’s why we go into the schools to talk about chastity and abstinence; that’s why we donate money to the cause; that’s why we pray; that’s why we do whatever our part is in the pro-life movement – to bring the message of dignity and hope to even just one person. To be that voice that counters a society that destroys souls.

It was some time later when I pulled out the evaluation forms to send them in. The one on the top (the last one in :) had the following comments:
Q) How have your feelings on sex before marriage changed? A) “Because you are special and not everyone is doing it”
Q) What did you learn from the program? A) “That if you are raped it’s not your fault and no one will blame you.”
Q) What will you remember most? A) “How much it taught me.”

Submitted by
Sheree Havlik
Speakers Bureau Director

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