At last week’s CALCASA Leadership Conference, several California Rape Crisis Centers gave presentations about the primary prevention work they are doing in their communities. The stories we heard described how these prevention programs supported people in their communities to become agents of change. As we were recognizing 40 years of a movement to end sexual violence, I see the next 40 years as creating some major shifts in social norms.
Tarah Fisher and Cynthia Patterson of the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center talked about MyLife, a primary prevention group for girls that helps them determine how to take action to change the social norms that contribute to sexual violence, such as offensive advertising. Hugo Rios of Fresno County’s Resources for Resource Center for Survivors of Sexual Assault and Family Violence described the work he does with young men through MyStrength – California’s adaption of the Men Can Stop Rape’s “My Strength is Not For Hurting” media campaign and Men of Strength Clubs.
Finally, Niko Johnson from Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition in Grass Valley shared her experiences with Green Dot as her agency is planning to implement this bystander intervention program in a local high school. Inspired by the Green Dot training, she shared she had to reexamine how she responds to situations she sees in her everyday life.
I provided a short overview of the trends in prevention. Click here for a list of the programs, materials and resources I highlighted.
These are only a few of the excellent examples primary prevention in California. There are so many other examples. What is the primary prevention in action in your community?