Whether you work in the field of sexual violence prevention or are just interested in creating healthier communities, here are some key resources that may be helpful.
What is Prevention?
At its core, prevention is about stopping sexual violence before it even has a chance to happen. These resources can help you become more familiar with prevention and key prevention theories.
- Primary Prevention Primer (NSVRC, 2016)
This short e-learning course introduces users to key prevention theories and contains a quiz to test knowledge.
- Perfect Shade of Change (NSVRC, 2012)
Resources for sexual violence preventionists working to create safe and healthy communities.
- Sexual Violence Prevention: Beginning the Dialogue (CDC, 2004)
This resource discusses sexual violence as a serious public health problem with extensive short- and long-term health consequences.
- Tools for Change: Primary Prevention v. Awareness/Outreach v. Risk Reduction (TAASA)
This resource highlights the differences between prevention, awareness, and risk reduction.
- Prevention Recipe Card (VA Action Alliance)
This resource provides a “recipe” for prevention.
Sexual violence does not happen in a vacuum. While committing violence is an individual choice, every person is shaped by the society we live in, which influences our attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviors. Oppression, including racism, sexism, ageism, and classism (among others) influences social systems that perpetuate inequality and harm to certain groups of people more than others.
In order to prevent sexual violence, we must simultaneously work to end all forms of oppression. These resources can help you understand the necessary connections between anti-oppression and prevention.
- Cultural Competency, Sensitivities and Allies In the Anti-Violence Against Women Movement: A Resource Manual for Advocates and Allies Reaching Out to Underserved Populations by WOCN
- Linking Primary Prevention and Anti Oppression by PreventConnect
- Dangerous Intersections by Incite!
- A Practical Guide for Creating Trauma-Informed Disability, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Organizations highlights and explores effective trauma-informed conditions or core values that victims, survivors and people with disabilities find essential for safety and healing.
- Sexual Violence and Individuals who Identify as LGBTQ
Campus & K-12
Schools and campuses play a large role in teaching and guiding young people. These can be effective places to implement prevention programs. These resources can provide information about how prevention can happen at schools and campuses, and ways to get involved.
- Transforming Communities to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation: A Primary Prevention Approach (Prevention Institute, May 2009)
This policy brief presents the distilled research and critical thinking of a diverse group of local and national experts in the field of child sexual abuse and exploitation.
- Internet Safety fact sheets and featured articles
- PreventConnect Campus addresses the prevention of sexual violence, domestic violence and dating violence on college and university campuses.
No one prevention strategy fits every community. Even if a curriculum shows great promise in one community, it may not work as well in another community. Every community is different – in size, demographics, the socio-economic status of the people in the community, values and norms, resources, and history. This means that working in partnership with a community – and tailoring your prevention strategy to fit the community – is essential.
Consent and Healthy Relationships
Part of preventing sexual violence is being able to identify and teach what we want to see instead of sexual violence. Consent and healthy relationships are two key areas where positive change can focus. These resources can help you understand consent and healthy relationships, and explore the topics with others.
- Navigating Consent (Scarleteen)
This resource introduces the definition of consent, includes a table of verbal ways to communicate consent or to decline, and has a table of non-verbal cues
- Cell Phone Consent Video
This short video illustrates consent (and what is not consent) through the borrowing of a cell phone.
One key aspect of changing culture to prevent sexual violence is bystander intervention – basically, this means looking out for others and getting involved in a safe way to interrupt problematic behavior. This could mean distracting someone at a party if they are trying to lure a very drunk person into their room, or saying that a joke about rape isn’t funny. In this way, bystander intervention can help shape social norms among your friends and family, and show survivors that you support them.
- Engaging Bystanders to Prevent Sexual Violence Information Packet
- Bystander Intervention Tips and Strategies
- Engaging Bystanders in Violence Against Women Prevention eLearning Presentation
Gender Equity (Engaging Men and Boys)
Best practices in prevention show that including all genders in prevention is most effective in creating change, which may be a new message to those who have heard or experienced prevention messages that were only aimed at women and girls. Thankfully, the prevention movement is changing – and while we know that effective prevention focuses on changing a culture instead of just encouraging potential victims to “protect themselves”, it may be less well-known that men and boys are an essential part of prevention efforts. While single-gender programming can be an effective component of a prevention program, it should not be the only prevention effort. Primary prevention should happen on multiple levels of the social ecology, which means reaching an entire community – this means reaching people of all genders.
- Guide to Engaging Men and Boys in Preventing Violence against Women and Girls (Texas Council on Family Violence)
- Healthy Masculinity Action Project
Media is pervasive – we consume it every day, and every message is constructed on purpose. This makes media literacy – being able to deconstruct, question, and make choices about the media we use – a vital component in prevention efforts. These resources can help you understand the importance of media literacy and explore ways to incorporate this into your prevention efforts.