Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Prevention

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Intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence (SV) are serious problems that can have lasting, harmful effects on victims and their family, friends, and communities. Preventing IPV/SV requires comprehensive prevention strategies that address factors at individual, relationship, community, and societal levels.

CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (Injury Center) provides critical funding and technical assistance to states to address public health issues such as IPV/SV through its Core State Violence and Injury Prevention Program (Core SVIPP). This program helps strengthen state capacity to collect and use data to better understand the local injury environment and challenges, plan injury prevention efforts, and carryout and evaluate life-saving interventions for residents. CDC’s Injury Center funds 23 state health departments as part of Core SVIPP.

Putting Strategies to Work to Prevent Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence

One of the best ways states can enhance IPV/SV prevention is to identify and implement evidence-based strategies and then evaluate their effectiveness. States funded through CDC’s Core SVIPP program are working to prevent IPV/SV using the following types of evidence-based strategies:

  • Communities that Care (CTC):external icon Evidence-based community-change process for reducing youth problem behaviors, including harmful substance use, low academic achievement, early school leaving, sexual risk-taking, and violence.
  • Safe Dates:external icon Series of six booklets that gives parents tips and strategies for having conversations with their children about topics such as relationships and substance use.
  • Shifting Boundariesexternal icon: Middle school-based program focused on reducing dating violence and sexual harassment.
  • Nurse-Family Partnership: home visiting provides provide caregiver support and training about child health and development to low-income, first-time mothers.
States in Action

Mapping Problem Hot Spots In Colorado
One in five Colorado high school students report being bullied at school, and almost one in 10 have been physically hurt by a dating partner according to Colorado’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. Five percent of high school students report that they have missed school because they felt unsafe at school or on the way to school. Colorado youth who identify as female, gay, bisexual, questioning, or transgender experience more violence than their peers.

Colorado high school students and community members collaborated with the state’s Core SVIPP program and Rape Prevention Education (RPE) programs to identify safe and unsafe spaces in eight high school buildings. Problem areas were corrected by installing permanent privacy walls in locker rooms for students, moving the girls’ locker rooms to ensure greater privacy among students, and increasing adult presence in shared spaces such as hallways.

Colorado’s Core SVIPP funding supported infrastructure, training, and technical assistance to eight Rape Prevention Education (RPE)-funded awardees to implement hot spot mapping. In addition, Core SVIPP funding supported evaluation of the hot spot mapping strategy by assessing the process of engaging youth to identify problem areas, and the selected strategy on a variety of violence outcomes. RPE-funded programs also strengthened partnerships with middle school students, school administrators, and community members through collaboration with a Shifting Boundaries-Building Componentexternal icon. They successfully integrated this strategy into existing school programming (i.e., healthy relationship curricula and social norms campaigns) and community initiatives (such as Communities That Careexternal icon).