Community Rape Prevention and Reduction: What Can We All Do?

  • Jacquelyn White, PhD and Karol Dean, PhD

    In response to an increasing concern about the negative effects of sexual violence, and as the result of increased psychological research focused on causes of violence, multiple community based psycho-educational programs have been developed to prevent or reduce rape. Early efforts were often developed without referencing psychological research, but more coordinated recent efforts are integrating research findings as elements of effective programs. In particular, many of these programs are incorporating a bystander intervention approach which is intended to change social norms and empower individuals, who themselves are not perpetrators, to take action to prevent sexual assault. These programs have been enacted both in educational settings (including high schools and colleges) and in community groups focused on reducing violence. In this presentation, we will discuss the importance of connecting research to practice, and describe elements of several community based prevention and intervention programs.