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Conference Report - Prevention

Overarching questions:

What resources for researchers (databases) exist?

How can researchers access them?

What scholarship exists?

What best practices have been identified?

  • Need baseline data
    • Scour state agencies, dissertations/theses, and elsewhere to find out what data have been collected and for a literature review of scholarship in Maine.
    • Can serve as a pre-test baseline against which to compare (longitudinally)?
    • One person suggested looking to Rhode Island as model for data collection (through police departments).

Themes and potential research threads:

Prevention Strategies

  • What prevention efforts exist? Descriptive study needed to document what exists.
    • Catalogue as primary, secondary, and tertiary approaches.
  • Language, terminology: what language is used by/in schools? How is this similar or different to what providers/prevention educators use? What terms do researchers draw upon?
  • How do we survey risk?
  • Need research to enhance understanding of factors that make some populations more vulnerable to victimization (vulnerability factors) and more at risk for perpetration (risk factors). Further, what are contributing factors (e.g., individual, relational, community, and societal factors)? What vulnerability factors and risk factors are correlated with what contributing factors?
  • What instruments exist to measure attitudes and beliefs?
  • Impact of prevention efforts: to what extent are prevention efforts effective in changing abuse-supportive attitudes? What is the duration of (any) behavioral changes (short-term, long-term)? To what extent are prevention efforts effective in reducing the incidence of sexual assault and domestic violence?
  • Role of education on healthy relationships and respect.
  • Role of men in prevention (e.g., MCSR, 2003).
  • Social norming (e.g., Berkowitz, 2003).

School-based prevention curriculum

  • Middle school health curriculum.
  • School-based DV education.
  • In what ways do curricular approaches build upon each other, from pre-school to high school?
  • Conduct longitudinal study with children.
  • Comparative study of college students who were in a secondary school system that had prevention curriculum with those who weren’t.
  • Practitioners need data to present to schools to gain access (meaning, evidence that the problem exists locally, which then warrants investing in prevention curriculum).

Community factors (other than schools)

  • Role of families in prevention efforts?
  • Investigate role of community groups in prevention efforts (e.g., churches).


  • Identified need to enhance collaboration between sexual assault and domestic violence educators: there is a clear need for these two fields to become more integrated in their approach to prevention. Underlying these social problems are similar risk factors at the individual, family, community, and societal levels. Recognizing these similarities should lead to a common purpose in prevention efforts.
  • Examine intersections of gendered violence with other identity statuses (race, sexuality, class, etc.).
    • For instance, investigate relationship (impact) of economic issues (e.g., living wages, access to affordable housing) on domestic violence.
  • Substance abuse services: prevention intersection.
    • Investigate (pilot study?) using “techniques of the drunk-driving movement” as a framework for DV prevention.
    • Comparative analysis of public service campaigns (and other uses of media): drunk-driving and domestic violence.
  • Inter-disciplinary prevention efforts: How do we ensure our work complements each other’s?


  • Abuse and the elderly: research needed.


Berkowitz, A.D. (2003). The Social Norms Approach to Violence Prevention. San Francisco, CA: Family Violence Prevention Fund. Retrieved March 9, 2006 from

MCSR. (2003). Men Can Stop Rape: The Strength Campaign. DOJ Grant # 2001-WT-BX-K019. Washington, DC: Office on Violence Against Women. Retrieved March 9, 2006 from

Wolfe, D.A. & Jaffe, P.G. (2003). Prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault. National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. Retrieved March 10, 2006 from

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