This blog is written by Jessie Towne-Cardenas of the Arboreta Group who works with CALCASA in providing training and technical assistance for the Rape Prevention and Education program (RPE).

Folder with cover of Primary Prevention Primer. Text reads: Primary Prevention = stopping violence before it has a chance to happen

The Primary Prevention Primer from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center

As part of our work advancing sexual violence prevention nationwide, CALCASA is currently supporting California RPE programs in doing organizational self-assessments to create a Primary Prevention Integration Action Plan (PPIAP). in 2012, rape crisis centers went through a similar process and many made big changes including:

  • increasing prevention messages on their websites and using social media;
  • training all staff, volunteers, and even board members on primary prevention;
  • increasing funding for prevention through fundraising, grants, and fee for service; and
  • including prevention in strategic planning goals and mission statements.

What we measure we can improve. Assessment shines a light on how our organizations integrate prevention and reveals areas for improvement and/or development. The beauty of self-assessment is that it doesn’t matter if your baseline is low because it’s just a starting point. Here are a few things we’re looking forward to learning:
How organizations talk about prevention in their community – From volunteers to board members those affiliated with the organization know what primary prevention of sexual violence is and how their prevention services move them toward their mission.
How organizations fund prevention work – Diverse funding sources for prevention helps strengthen and sustain our work over time. Using data and stories from our prevention work tells the story of RCCs that are providing vital support to survivors AND working to end sexual violence through education and social change.
How organizations support and develop their prevention practitioners – Assessing organizational performance in the areas of leadership development, supporting new ideas and methods, compensation structures, and transition and succession planning are vital because well-trained and well-supported staff are essential to the success of an organization.
The PPIAP Organizational Self-Assessment is available for any rape crisis center to use to shine the light on their prevention programs. Do you want to put some focus on prevention? Let us know!