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The Year in Prevention

As 2014 comes to a close, I decided to take a look back at some of the sexual violence prevention highlights from the past 12 months.  In many ways, it’s been a banner year for prevention.  Here are just a few things that captured our attention this year:

  • Rape culture  - anti-sexual assault advocates and preventionists know this term well, and have used it in their work to end sexual violence for quite some time.  But when a White House report used the term, it got major attention and sparked some very interesting discussions.  One of my favorite discussions on the importance of addressing power-based violence and rape culture, specifically as it relates to campus prevention work, is this excellent PreventConnect podcast with Vickie Sides from the University of Chicago and Rachel Caidor from the University of Illinois at Chicago. 
  • Campus prevention – as advocates and preventionists are well aware, anti-sexual assault prevention programming has been happening on campuses for a very long time.  But in 2014, campus sexual assault was in the national spotlight.  This brought much-needed national attention to the issue, including a White House report on responding to and preventing campus sexual violence.   Check out the NSVRC recommendations to the White House Task Force, many of which were included in the report.
  • Systematic Review of Primary Prevention Strategies – this research done by Sarah DeGue et al. analyzed 140 evaluation research studies to identify sexual violence primary prevention strategies with the best available research evidence to back them up.  The NSVRC developed a short summary that highlights key findings of the report.
  • Connecting the Dots - Although the intersection of sexual violence and other forms of violence is not a new concept, this topic area got a boost this year with the release of the CDC’s  Connecting the Dots: An Overview of the Links Among Multiple Forms of Violence.  We know that various forms of violence have a lot of the same root causes and share similar risk and protective factors.  Whether we are working to prevent sexual violence, domestic/intimate partner violence, youth violence, bullying, teen dating violence - when it comes to prevention, much of the time we are working to reduce similar risk factors and promote similar protective factors.   Check out a previous blog post I wrote about finding common ground in our prevention efforts.

With 2015 upon us, I look forward to continued discussion and collaboration on the topic areas mentioned above (as well as many more).  I predict we’ll be seeing A LOT more around the topic of campus prevention (be sure to tune in to our 2015 SAAM Campaign, It’s Time to Act.  Safer Campuses.  Brighter Futures.  Prevent Sexual Violence.  We’ll have some great prevention resources available within the next month!).  

What about you? What were some of the prevention highlights for you this past year?  Feel free to share in the comments below.


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