Potential Roles for Healthcare Providers

The following activities and corresponding resources can assist healthcare providers in preventing sexual violence before it occurs.  These materials were developed in conjunction with our healthcare initiative collaborating partners

Understand scope and impact of the problem of sexual violence.
For information visit:

Back to Top

Work toward primary prevention of sexual violence.

Understand risk and protective factors that influence sexually violent behavior. For a description of key risks factors see Global Perspectives on Sexual Violence: Findings from the World Report on Violence and Health

Be aware of the negative affects of media violence and gender stereotypes and share that information with patients.

Locate or develop patient handouts on the role that men can play to prevent sexual violence. See 10 Things Men Can Do To Prevent Gender Violence  for an example.

Read Sexual Violence and the Spectrum of Prevention: Towards a Community Solution for ideas about how to build comprehensive strategies for prevention.

Back to Top

Enhance services for early identification for children, youth, and families at-risk for or involved in violence

Gather more information about preventing child sexual abuse. See A National Resource Directory & Handbook Preventing Child Sexual Abuse for resources.

Work with staff to talk with patients about risk factors and what to do when they identify them. See Screening for Sexual Violence: Gaps in Research and Recommendations for Change  for guidance.

Update intake forms and screening questions for sexual violence, particularly for those with reported sexually inappropriate or abusive behaviors and acts. See Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence Victimization Assessment Instruments for Use in Healthcare Settings for tools.

Work with sexual assault experts to develop trainings for other healthcare providers on preventing sexual violence. The NSVRC has created a powerpoint presentation that can be adapted for your use. Email us for a copy.

Back to Top

Collaborate with other healthcare providers, organizations, and schools.

Establish a network of referral services to make it easier for patients to access resources.

Work with your state, regional healthcare or other professional association chapter to educate members. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College Health Association, and the International Association of Forensic Nurses all have toolkits or resources.

Solicit or write articles on prevention for your organization's newsletter.

Join your state or territory sexual assault coalition or volunteer for its board of directors.

Join your health department’s sexual violence prevention task force.

Support or develop organizational policies on sexual harassment and workplace violence. See the National Sexual Violence Resource Center's Preventing Sexual Violence….in the workplace resources.

Back to Top

Work with your organization's administration to make organizational changes.

Provide regional prevention education to healthcare providers of affiliate hospitals, clinics and universities.

Volunteer to be on an institutional or organizational policy review committee.

Volunteer to present in-services or grand rounds on sexual violence prevention.

Participate in new employee orientation to present primary prevention definitions, healthy relationships and bystander behavior skills.

Ask your hospital if you can represent them on community boards to promote violence prevention.

Back to Top

Advocate for public policy and resources to prevent sexual violence:

Meet with your legislative representative and discuss sexual violence as a public health issue. Give support to national advocacy organizations that are working for solutions to prevent sexual violence. Ask local organizations (e.g., Rotary, Lions Club) to write letters of support for related legislative bills. Visit the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence and download their Advocacy Guide.

Support anti-sexual assault coalition efforts.

Support funding of sexual violence prevention and intervention services.

Encourage medical, nursing, and public health schools and professional societies to provide education and research on the causes and prevention of sexual violence.

Promote information about Sexual Assault Awareness Month every April. Materials are available through the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

This resouce was jointly created by the following organizations: American Academy of Pediatrics; American College Health Association; International Association of Forensic Nurses and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

Additional information was adapted from Youth Violence and the Health Professions: Core Competencies for Effective Practice, The Southern California Developing Center for Youth Violence Prevention and the University of Southern California Department of Family Medicine. Knox, L. 2001. Report available at: http://www.stopyouthviolence.ucr.edu.

Back to Top