Effectiveness of Prevention Programs


There is some research on effectiveness of prevention activities, however there is limited research on evidence-based prevention programs.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center published a report, Key Findings from A Systematic Review of Primary Prevention Strategies for Sexual Violence Perpetration, summarizing a systematic review of effectiveness of primary prevention strategies by Sarah DeGue et al. (2014). The original article by DeGue et al., A systematic review of primary prevention strategies for sexual violence perpetration, is available in full to the public.

  • **The ICASA Project: Best Practices for School-Based Sexual Assault Prevention Programming**, Paul Schewe
    • Characteristics of Prevention Programs Associated with Success
      • More sessions are better than fewer
      • Shorter sessions are better than longer sessions
      • A male/female team of prevention educators produces the overall best results for both male and female students
      • Younger students change more than older students
    • success is measured as positive changes on The Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale (Payne et al., 1999)
  • **Sexual violence prevention through bystander education: An experimental evaluation** . Banyard VL, Moynihan MM, Plante EG. Journal of Community Psychology2007; 35(4): 463-481.
    • The current study used an experimental design to evaluate a sexual violence prevention program based on a community of responsibility model that teaches women and men how to intervene safely and effectively in cases of sexual violence before, during, and after incidents with strangers, acquaintances, or friends. It approaches both women and men as potential bystanders or witnesses to behaviors related to sexual violence.
    • Three hundred and eighty-nine undergraduates participated and were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups or a control group. Results from the research reveal that up to 2 months after participating in either a one- or three-session version of the program, participants in the treatment conditions showed improvements across measures of attitudes, knowledge, and behavior while the control group did not. Most program effects persisted at 4- and 12-month follow-ups. The program appeared to benefit both women and men. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.
  • The effect of a college sexual assault prevention program on first-year students’ victimization rates. Rothman E, Silverman J. Journal of American College Health2007; 55(5): 283-90.
    • OBJECTIVE: Although a variety of sexual assault prevention programs are currently available to college health professionals, there is a dearth of information about the effect of these programs on sexual assault victimization rates.
      PARTICIPANTS: The authors evaluated the efficacy of a sexual assault prevention program for first-year students at a college in the Northeast (N = 1,982).
      METHODS: They used a retrospective cohort design and assessed the prevalence of sexual assault victimization among students exposed to the sexual assault prevention program and students 1 year their senior who were not exposed.
      RESULTS: Students who had no exposure were more likely to report that they were sexually assaulted during their first year of college (odds ratio = 1.74, 95% confidence interval [1.32-2.29]). Results suggest that the program was effective for males and females, but not for students with a prior history of sexual assault victimization. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual students were at increased risk for victimization as compared with heterosexual students, and students who drank alcohol or engaged in binge drinking were at increased risk as compared with alcohol abstinent students.
      CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that this program had a positive effect on victimization rates for certain sub-groups of students.
  • **Community-based violence awareness**. Kelly PJ, Lesser J, Peralez-Dieckmann E, Castilla M Issues in Mental Health Nursing2007; 28(3): 241-53.
    • Violence against women is a major influence on women’s mental health. We used popular education techniques to train 14 Spanish-speaking women as promotoras (community health workers) to increase awareness about violence against women in low income Texas communities. These women then conducted over 80 presentations in Spanish in local community settings. The impact of the program on the promotoras and on women attending the presentations was evaluated using qualitative methods. This research lends support to the idea that nurses working in community mental health settings must use innovative primary prevention strategies and evaluation mechanisms to change awareness about violence against women.
  • Nine Principles of Effective Prevention Programs Nation, M., Crusto, C., Wandersman, A., Kumpfer, K. L., Seybolt, D., Morrissey-Kane, E., & Davino, K. (2003). What works in prevention: Principles of Effective Prevention Programs.American Psychologist, 58, 449-456.