Perspectives of a Preventionista

By Jen Grove


Jen is the Prevention Outreach Coordinator at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC).

Blog Description: Connecting readers with innovative sexual violence prevention programs and resources.

 

That’s right…a hole in my brand new, mint green sweater.  As I arrived to work on this Denim Day, I reached for the appropriate awareness button on my cubicle wall (please tell me I am not the only one with a plethora of pins and buttons for every social justice activist occas

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Ah, spring.  The weather is warming up, flowers are blooming, and I am finding many more reasons to be outside at this time of year.   In fact, this past weekend found me spending a lovely day with friends in Brooklyn.  The weather was perfect as we mingled with people at an outdoor food festival. 

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In case you missed it, there have been some heated debates going on the past few weeks about whether or not we can really prevent rape.  Sometimes I get so comfy in my “prevention is possible” bubble that I forget not everyone thinks the same way I do.

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Picture this: A high school party, lots of alcohol, star football players, and a young, unconscious girl.  A recipe for disaster, some might say.  

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This week we have a guest preventionista! Liz Zadnik shares her perspectives on the recently released article, A Systematic Qualitative Review of Risk and Protective Factors for Sexual Violence Perpetration (Trauma, Violence, & Abuse December 2012).

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While at a community event recently, I was asked what I do for a living.  I have a love/hate relationship with this question.  On one hand, I’m typically happy to tell people that I work to prevent sexual violence.  But sometimes, I just don’t want to open that can of worms.  But I decided to delve into my spiel about prevention, and menti

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female soldier salutingI love when my friends who are not in this work ask me interesting questions about prevention.  It’s nice to know that my long and heartfelt speeches don't always go in one ear and out the other.  Case in point:  yesterday a friend asked me this question:

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How do you know if your prevention program is effective?  Are you seeing the positive outcomes that you hoped to see?  Is the program “worth its weight”?  

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Over the past week, I have rediscovered my inner activist.  Patience is not typically one of my virtues.  It’s something that I’ve had to work on, because as you know prevention of sexual violence takes time.  So, I’ve spent a lot of time training and talking to people, working with groups, and waiting patiently as they climbed aboard the Primary Prevention Express.  It has been exciting and rewarding to see the shift in thinking and the re-connection to our roots as a movement when it comes to social change and community mobilization.

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