Rape Prevention and Education Program
What is CDC’s Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) program?
The RPE program works to prevent sexual violence by providing funding to state and territorial health departments in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and state, territorial, and tribal sexual assault coalitions. The RPE program recipients work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders including educational institutions, rape crisis centers, community organizations, and other state agency partners to guide the implementation and evaluation of their state sexual violence prevention efforts.
CDC supports this work by providing tools, training, and technical assistance to RPE programs to promote the implementation and evaluation of programs, practices, and policies based on the best available evidence to prevent sexual violence.
The RPE program is authorized through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), passed by Congress in 1994, and most recently reauthorized in 2022. In 2016, CDC received additional funding to support program evaluation research on programs implemented through RPE. Descriptions of these programs are available on CDC’s Funded Research page under the “2016” section.
CDC/ATSDR will host a virtual tribal consultation with American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Federally Recognized Tribes on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, from 2-3:30 pm EST. The consultation session will be held to hear from tribes on their public health priorities and concerns related to the RPE program and how CDC/ATSDR can better support tribes and tribal communities moving forward to inform sexual violence prevention. The virtual session will be open to the public. Register here.
What guides the work of the RPE program?
Primary prevention—stopping sexual violence before it begins—is the focus of the RPE program. Program activities are guided by a set of principles that include:
- Preventing the first-time occurrence of sexual violence
- Reducing risk factors and enhancing protective factors linked to sexual violence perpetration and victimization
- Using the best available evidence when planning, implementing, and evaluating prevention programs
- Implementing comprehensive strategies that address individual, relationship, community, and societal factors
- Analyzing state and community data, such as health and safety data, to inform program decisions and monitor trends
- Evaluating prevention efforts and using the results to improve future program plans
The RPE program encourages the development of comprehensive prevention strategies using as guiding frameworks, the public health approach, and the social-ecological model (SEM). These frameworks guide the recipients to implement a range of activities to address the ways individual, relationship, community, and societal factors impact sexual violence.
This approach is more likely to prevent sexual violence across a lifetime than any single intervention and is also more likely to benefit the largest number of people and reduce sexual violence.
CDC’s current project, Rape Prevention and Education: Using the Best Available Evidence for Sexual Violence Prevention, requires RPE program recipients to work with partners to plan, implement, and evaluate sexual violence prevention strategies in alignment with the Sexual Violence Prevention Resource for Action [3 MB, 46 Pages], formerly known as, “technical package.”
This project places an increased emphasis on implementing community and societal-level strategies that create protective environments and provide opportunities to empower and support girls and women. RPE program recipients are required to implement at least half of their strategies at the community or societal levels. Ten RPE program recipients were awarded additional funding to implement 75% of their strategies at the community and societal levels.
Evidence-based examples of community and societal level strategies include:
- Conducting hot-spot mapping and improving safety and monitoring in schools
- Establishing and consistently applying school and workplace policies
- Working with communities to improve safety and health in the built environment
- Ensuring women have adequate work supports such as safe and affordable childcare and paid family leave policies
- Improving educational and leadership opportunities for girls and women
The term state sexual assault coalition, sometimes referred to as a state sexual violence coalition, is defined by VAWA as “a program determined by the Center for Injury Prevention and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the Public Health Service Act.” In order to be eligible for RPE funds, CDC must approve or certify the state sexual assault coalition. Below is the 2023 list of approved state sexual assault coalitions. The 2023 list remains substantially the same as the 2022 list, but some minor edits were made to reflect name changes. The fiscal year 2024 list will be updated in October 2023.
- Alabama Coalition Against Rape
- Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
- Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
- Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault
- CAWS North Dakota
- Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault
- Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence
- Day One Rhode Island
- Delaware Alliance Against Sexual Violence
- DC Rape Crisis Center (DC Coalition to End Sexual Violence)
- Florida Council Against Sexual Violence
- Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault
- Hawaii Coalition Against Sexual Assault
- Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence
- Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault
- Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking
- Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault
- Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence
- Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc.
- Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault
- Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault
- Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault
- The Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, Jane Doe Inc.
- Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence
- Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault
- Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault
- Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
- Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
- Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
- Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence
- New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
- New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault
- New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc.
- New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault
- North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault
- North Dakota Council on Abused Women’s Services / Coalition Against Sexual Assault
- Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence
- Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
- Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
- Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
- South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
- South Dakota Coalition Ending Domestic and Sexual Violence
- Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence
- Texas Association Against Sexual Assault
- Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault
- Vermont Network Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
- Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance
- Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs
- West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services
- Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault
- Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault