Sexual violence is a serious problem that can have lasting, harmful effects on victims and their family, friends, and communities. Over half of women and almost 1 in 3 men report experiencing sexual violence. The goal of sexual violence prevention is simple--to stop it from happening in the first place. The solutions, however, are just as complex as the problem.
Prevention efforts focus on decreasing the number of individuals who perpetrate sexual violence and the number of individuals who are victims. Prevention approaches aim to reduce risk factors and promote protective factors for sexual violence. In addition, our comprehensive prevention strategies address factors at each of the levels that influence sexual violence--individual, relationship, community and society.
Our most common prevention strategies currently focus on the victim, the perpetrator, or bystanders. Our educational strategies equip the victim with knowledge, awareness, or self-defense skills and are referred to as "risk reduction techniques." We also offer bystander prevention strategies to change social norms supporting sexual violence and empower men and women to intervene with peers to prevent an assault from occurring.