Raising Sexual Violence Awareness Through Reading: Young Adult Literature and Youth Outreach

A book can be a window to the world or a mirror into one’s self. Young Adult Literature, or YA Lit, consists of books with teen readers and teen topics in mind. These books have become so popular that it is customary for them to have their own bookstore and library sections. They allow readers to look out into the experiences of other youth, or deeper into themselves while exploring a myriad of topics, such as sexual violence. 

#SVYALit is a campaign that was started by the Teen library toolbox in 2014. They partner with library commissions to actively promote reading lists on topics including sexual violence, trauma, abuse, consent, and sexualtity. NPR has named this project as a useful tool for parents and guardians to further engage adolescents in topics surrounding SV.  

Reading sex-positive books helps to dispel rape myths, combat rape culture, present realistic and age relevant SA situations, present scenes in which consent asked for and given or denied and present healthy relationship framework. For many young adults, a book may be the first place they are able to see sex and consent within a tangible and self-relevant context. 

These book lists can be promoted by SV programs in collaboration with library commissions, schools, parents, youth programs and youth centers as a new and exciting form of outreach. 

Download the reading list

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