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About the National Sexual Violence Resource Center

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) is the leading nonprofit in providing information and tools to prevent and respond to sexual violence. NSVRC translates research and trends into best practices that help individuals, communities and service providers achieve real and lasting change. The center also works with the media to promote informed reporting. Every April, NSVRC leads Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), a campaign to educate and engage the public in addressing this widespread issue. NSVRC is also one of the three founding organizations of Raliance, a national, collaborative initiative dedicated to ending sexual violence in one generation.


Mission

Our mission is to provide leadership in preventing and responding to sexual violence through collaborating, sharing and creating resources, and promoting research.

Vision

We envision a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are treated with dignity and respect and have full autonomy over their own bodies and sexual expression.

Guiding Principles

We believe that through collaboration, prevention strategies, and research-based resources, we are making the world safer and healthier.

Philosophy

We understand sexual violence to be an overarching term that includes an array of behaviors, both physical and non-physical, that constitute unwanted or age-inappropriate sexual activity and can impact people of any age, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, identity, etc.

We believe sexual violence is rooted in power inequities and is connected to other forms of oppression including ableism, adultism, ageism, classism, heterosexism, racism, sexism, the basis of religion, and other constructs that value certain people or groups over others.

We use our national leadership position to promote a greater understanding of sexual violence and how to prevent it.

Prevention

We believe sexual violence is preventable. We understand sexual violence to be a social justice, public health, criminal justice, and human rights issue. We bring the tools, research, and resources of each of these areas of expertise to promote a unified movement.

We believe having open and factual conversations, educating about healthy relationships, engaging and informing bystanders, and similar strategies contribute to positive and sustainable societal changes.

We believe efforts should simultaneously address the needs of those who have been victimized; treat, manage, and successfully reintegrate individuals who sexually offend; and build the capacity of individuals, groups, and communities to prevent sexual violence before it occurs.

Response

We believe it is imperative to improve responses to those who have been victimized by sexual violence to ensure they are believed, helped, and supported throughout their recovery process.

We recognize survivors are resilient and often find strength at individual, relationship, community, and societal levels following sexual violence. We understand survivors are unique in how they experience sexual violence and the outcomes they desire in terms of justice, services, and support.

We promote responses that are informed by the strengths and needs of survivors and that honor their voices, cultures, choices, and priorities. The quality of response to survivors by loved ones, professionals, social systems, the media, and organizations impacts their healing and also signals to other survivors and potential offenders about our societal values and commitment to safety and respect.

Collaboration

We believe communication among advocates, researchers, funders, public health professionals, policymakers, culturally specific community-based programs, sex offender treatment and management professionals, national partners, and other key players is critical in creating opportunities for positive changes.

We also work with media to better inform the public of their role and responsibility in preventing sexual violence.

Resources

We believe everyone should have access to information that will allow them to build programs and policies to end sexual violence and serve those who have been impacted. We act as a communication hub, connecting people with the information, resources, tools, and expertise needed to effectively address and prevent sexual violence in all communities.

We are committed to ensuring access to quality resources for all children, teens, young adults, adults, and people in later life. We use traditional and online forms of communication to create communities of support for preventing sexual violence.

Research

We believe all efforts to respond to and prevent sexual violence must be supported by research. We maintain an extensive library and virtual information bank of current statistics, research, information, speakers, and tools on a wide variety of topics pertaining to sexual violence. We assist programs in accessing and contributing to a body of evidence that strengthens our collective efforts.

History

NSVRC opened in July 2000 as a national information and resource hub relating to all aspects of sexual violence. Founded by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape — the oldest and one of the largest state sexual assault coalitions — NSVRC is funded through a cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Violence Prevention.

Our staff collects and disseminates a wide range of resources on sexual violence including statistics, research, position statements, statutes, training curricula, prevention initiatives, and program information. With these resources, we assist coalitions, advocates, and others interested in understanding and eliminating sexual violence.

In addition to tracking resources developed throughout the country, we also:

  • Publish a biannual newsletter, The Resource
  • Issue press releases and talking points on current events
  • Coordinate the national Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaign in April
  • Develop original resources to help bridge information gaps, such as conducting research and analysis of underserved populations

We have an active and diverse Advisory Council that assists and advises staff and ensures a broad national perspective. We also enjoy strong partnerships with state, territory, and tribal anti-sexual assault coalitions and allied organizations.

NSVRC does not provide direct services to sexual assault victims but rather supports those who do, including coalitions; rape crisis centers; national, state, and local agencies; and allied programs.

We refer requests for direct victims’ services to the appropriate state coalition and/or a local program conveniently located to the caller. A caller looking for services may also access and search the location and phone numbers of state and territory coalitions on our website.

National Award Programs

NSVRC supports two award programs:

  • The Visionary Voice Awards are given each April to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding work to end sexual violence.
  • The Gail Burns-Smith Award recognizes people who have made significant contributions to preventing sexual violence through their work to facilitate effective partnerships between advocates working on behalf of victims and survivors and those working in the area of sex offender management and treatment.