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In the sexual violence field, we use the term “primary prevention,” which means stopping sexual violence before it even has a chance to happen. Primary prevention challenges out-of-date and victim-blaming attitudes that place the onus on potential victims to protect themselves and frames sexual violence as a public health issue.

Primary prevention requires that we make the connection between all forms of oppression (including racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, adultism, ageism, and others) and how these create a culture in which inequality thrives and violence is seen as normal. Effective prevention efforts utilize prevention theories to change communities, shift social norms, end oppression, and promote norms of equity, consent, and safety for all.


Learn about key theories and frameworks used in the field of sexual assault prevention.


Explore information and resources on evaluating prevention programming, including the NSVRC’s Evaluation Toolkit.

Rape Prevention and Education Program

Find out about the history and current focus areas of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Rape Prevention and Education program.


Ready to learn more? You can find more prevention-related information on our Prevention Links page.

Get Involved

The best way to effect positive change is to work together. You can find others who are focused on prevention by contacting your local sexual assault center or partnering with community groups who are working on prevention.