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New Tool for Exploring Primary Prevention

  This is a guest blog post by Mo Lewis, Prevention Specialist at NSVRC

What is primary prevention, exactly? For something that is the cornerstone of my career, I am not always great at expressing what sexual violence prevention actually means. Sometimes I get way too deep into theory and find eyes glazing over, and other times I get really riled up and start talking very loudly about social change – which doesn’t usually work so well either.

When I came to work at NSVRC, I realized that I’m not the only one with this problem. The sexual violence prevention field is still relatively young, and the ways in which we do our work run counter to many long-standing and popular beliefs about how to prevent rape – which means that sometimes just answering the “What do you do?” question can get complicated. Even within the same agency, opinions about what constitutes "prevention" can vary.

My solution – an e-learning primer

This fast-paced learning tool introduces two key elements in the field of primary prevention – the Social Ecological Model and the Moving Upstream story. It also includes interactive activities to explain concepts like Risk Reduction and Primary Prevention, and has a brief quiz to test your knowledge.

The primer is designed to take about 15 minutes to complete, so feel free to use and share it widely. Want a quick refresher? Need to train new staff or volunteers? Looking for a way to introduce your board to your work? You could even test your friends and family! (I pilot-tested this primer with my parents, with much success.) I’d love to hear how you are using this tool, so feel free to leave a comment below or reach out to

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