RAP Project – Raising Awareness & Prevention

28 April 2022

Rap Project Sq

On Wednesday 27th April 2022, we were pleased to welcome Deana Puccio, co-founder of the RAP Project, to meet with Senior School students.

NLCS has a longstanding relationship with the RAP Project, which delivers powerful, informative and engaging talks on a range of topics for students in schools around the country and internationally.

The RAP (Raising Awareness and Prevention) Project, was co-founded by Deana and Allison Havey in response to the work Deana completed as a criminal lawyer and Assistant District Attorney in New York City. The RAP Project is now well-established and respected for the straightforward, mature manner in which they highlight sensitive and important topics.

Years 8 and 9 attended a talk titled “Altered, Airbrushed and Unrealistic” focusing upon the damaging impact of the media upon young people’s self-esteem and body image. Filled with important information and top tips for students to protect themselves online, students greatly appreciated the opportunity to explore this topic with Deana.

“Overall, it was a helpful, interesting talk that was relative to our age group. The part that I found most interesting was how famous brands marketed their products and the negative impact this can have upon viewers, as they think in order to be fashionable, they need to look a certain way. It often advertises controlling behaviour in relationships, which is not healthy. Deana, who gave the talk, understood the topics spoken thoroughly, she was inclusive of a diversity of people, and I liked that she could relate to us.” Yr 9 Student

Year 12 attended a separate talk, titled “Everyone’s Invited: Now What?” focused upon the importance of mutual consent and respect. Students also considered how the media is reinforcing negative gender stereotypes and influencing young people’s attitudes and expectations in terms of relationships. Deana’s powerful presentation empowers women, men, and all gender identities with personal safety advice, whilst also highlighting how alcohol and drugs interfere with consent.

“Deana delivered an empowering talk informing us of the importance of consent, and the influence society has on victim-blaming. She began by talking to us about her three daughters of a similar age to us and how she felt the need to raise awareness about sexual assault and harassment. After recent events surrounding the website ‘Everyones Invited’, the talk made us realise that sexual assault is tragically very common and peer safety is especially important when we go to university. Being aware of your surroundings and standing up for someone in danger is crucial. She highlighted the negative impact rape culture has on our society, influencing us through film, media and adverts from such young ages. Most offenders have committed these crimes before, so stopping them can save lives. Being a former District Attorney from NYC and working with victims, Deana emphasised the problems in the law that question the validity of victims’ statements, such as whether the victim was under the influence of alcohol or questioning how they were dressed, information that does not matter. Sexual acts without consent are a crime, and understanding consent is something everyone needs to know.” Caitlyn, Yr 12 student

We are very thankful to Deana and the RAP Project for all of their work, and, of course, continue the discussions started by her talks through our detailed PSHE curriculum.

If you would like to find out more about the work of the RAP Project, you can do so by visiting them at https://therapproject.co.uk/