Banners in the conference room from the recent UNITY Advisory Meeting

Last week I had the opportunity to join the UNITY Advisory Meeting at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia. It was so appropriate to meet at a center for organizing for non-violence and promoting human rights. At this meeting we explored how we can advance the linkages between a range of types of violence (community violence, sexual violence, intimate partner violence, teen dating violence, child maltreatment and suicide) and other important social issues. I appreciated the dedication of this group representing diverse issues while being committed to preventing violence.

While the focus of my work at CALCASA is to advance the prevention of sexual violence, I am reminded of the value of connections. (CALCASA’s national online prevention project is called PreventConnect.)  I see an important part of primary prevention as promoting what we want. We need to find the common protective and resiliency factors in our communities to create positive change in many issues. As we see in the most recent results of the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, we need to focus on prevention.