Preventing sexual and relationship violence

Prevention works

We believe in fostering a community in which all students can access their education in an environment free of violence and harm. In order to achieve this goal, the Violence Prevention & Advocacy Program relies on evidence-based strategies to transform our campus culture.

Academic & administrative departments

Faculty and staff have critical roles to play in reducing the incidence and impact of sexual and relationship violence on students. The Violence Prevention & Advocacy Program can help you with everything from a one-time training to designing and implementing a comprehensive plan to prevent violence within your school or department. Click here to learn more about what we have to offer your department.

Student organizations

Student organizations breathe culture and community into UWB life. They also offer important opportunities to create spaces where sexual and relationship violence are intentionally prevented and addressed. Student leaders, consider asking the Violence Prevention & Advocacy Program to facilitate a conversation with your organization. Click here to learn more about what we have to offer your organization.

Workshops and trainings

Click here for a menu of workshops, trainings, and guided conversations. These options are available to be tailored for groups of students, faculty, and/or staff, and they include sessions facilitated by professional staff and by peer educators through the HERO program.

PIEchart.pngEvidence-based strategies

Our approach to prevention

PIE: Positive, Inclusive, and Empowering

Good prevention, as Alan Berkowitz writes in A Grassroots’ Guide to Fostering Healthy Norms to Reduce Violence in our communities: Social Norms Toolkit, is like PIE: It should be Positive, Inclusive, and Empowering. This framework is core to the strategies of the Violence Prevention & Advoacy Program. We strive to convey positive messages that focus on the powerful, pro-social ways we can each play a part in creating a community free of violence. Our goal is to intentionally create inclusive programming and strategies that are accessible, relevant, and meaningful to every member of our community. And to us, empowerment means meeting people where they are and supporting their growth into the full people they want to be; it's about being survivor-centered and trauma-informed, continuously evaluating our work and being responsive to community needs, and directing resources where they need to go.

adapted from Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis ServicesStages of prevention

The field of public health relies on the stages of prevention: Primary prevention is focused on preventing harm before it happens through behavior and norms change, secondary prevention includes strategies such as bystander intervention to mitigate the effects of harm in the moment, and tertiary prevention is essentially responding after harm has already occured. The Violence Prevention & Advocacy Program recognizes that, while all stages of prevention are important, a focus on primary prevention is what will truly change our culture to one free of violence and harm.

Social ecological model

Prevention is most effective when we focus on consistent messages across the social ecology. The social ecological model helps us think about how harm happens differently at the individual, relational, communal, and societal levels, and also what unique prevention strategies can affect change at each of those levels. The Violence Prevention & Advocacy Program also considers an institutional level,The Social-Ecological Model between community and society, to consider the particular opportunities to prevent harm at the University level. In addition, we add a historical level around the outside of the model. It is critical that we learn from what has come before us, and that we actively work to undo generational and historical harm and oppression.

Selected resources

An important part of doing meaningful prevention work is learning from other previous and current efforts in the field. The links below are an evolving selection of resources, toolkits, and articles that guide our work. Note that some resources are duplicated among the categories below, when they touch on multiple concepts.

General prevention theories and frameworks

Bystander intervention

Prevention on college campuses

Social norms change

Working within intact communities

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