SCOPE Thought Piece, Question #2: What have we learned to date in our prevention efforts that practitioners should know about?

Jane Stapleton, M.A.

An important thing that we have learned in the development and research on prevention strategies is the importance of the target audience, both in the creation of prevention strategies and in the evaluation of them.  Prevention strategies are more effective when they resonate with the target audience.  This means that the “program in a box” doesn’t always translate from one campus to the next.  Practitioners need to do more than just apply an already existing prevention strategy.  They should actively seek input and feedback from their target audience.  Also, in the field of sexual and relationship violence and stalking, if our goal is primary prevention (that is to stop the problem before it starts), we need to teach people about a continuum of violence so that they can recognize and ultimately stop the problem before it happens.  When we teach people only about the end result of violence, we miss the opportunity to intervene before the violence occurs.

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