“The soul of our politics is the commitment to ending domination.” – Bell Hooks
Purpose of Primary Prevention
SAFE in Hunterdon participates in a growing public health movement to end sexual, domestic and teen dating violence by preventing the initial perpetration or victimization. At SAFE in Hunterdon we recognize power-based violence as a preventable community problem and that its existence within our society should no longer be tolerated.
“Primary prevention is about addressing the roots of sexual violence — preventing sexual violence before it occurs by changing social and cultural norms and systems. In essence, it is changing our rape culture to a violence-free culture that promotes safety, equality and respect.” (Townsend, 2014).
SAFE in Hunterdon engages with Hunterdon County in primary prevention through a series of approaches that purposefully and thoughtfully include community action and partnerships. Through these we have the potential to influence policy, enhance education, increase awareness and provide resources around the promotion of healthy relationships, bystander skills, media literacy and equality.
Primary Prevention Programming
- Partners Promoting Healthy Relationships in Hunterdon County Coalition- This community coalition is dedicated to promoting healthy relationships by addressing power-based violence which includes bullying, dating, domestic and sexual violence. It is a coalition priority that the community have a stake in the promotion of healthy relationships and that this county is a place of wellness and health for everyone. Any community member is welcome to join.
- Youth Advisory Council- This council is a sustainable and student-run initiative whose main goal is to advise the Partners Promoting Healthy Relationships in Hunterdon County Coalition around youth issues. Secondly, students participating in this initiative will collaborate with their high school communities to create positive social change and prevent power-based violence such as teen dating violence, sexual violence and bullying. Any high-school aged student is welcome to join.
SAFE in Hunterdon hosts trainings at no cost. Below are a few examples of the topics we can provide:
GENDER AND VIOLENCE: How Media Shape Our Culture: This primary prevention curriculum can be used with young adults ranging from eighth grade to college-aged or can be modified to meet the needs of other adult groups. In this curriculum we examine society’s attitudes about gender and other stereotypes that may contribute to the normalization of power-based violence while learning to break down media messaging and engage in upstander behaviors through interactive activities and lessons. Media literacy programming incorporates seven to eight sessions of skill building education provided at no cost; this primary prevention approach can also include parents, teachers and the whole school community through continued “social norms” messaging and education.
- Safe Dates- This evidence-based dating abuse prevention curriculum includes a ten, six or four session program of educational material that helps students learn how to create safe and healthy relationships through communication and conflict resolution; identify unhealthy behaviors and work toward violence prevention through interactive and engaging lessons ideal for eighth and ninth grade students. This programming can also include parents, teachers, and the whole school community through continued messaging and education. All components of this programming are provided at no cost.
SAFE in Hunterdon can also provide one-time trainings at no cost. Below are a few examples of the topics we can provide:
- Sexual violence-Discuss topics such as consent, flirting and sexual harassment.
- Healthy relationships 101-Create examples of health in a relationship that can be applied to friendships, dating relationships and beyond.
Other topics are available upon request; reach out to the Prevention Coordinator for more details.
Townsend, S. (2014). Primary prevention and evaluation resource kit (Vol. 1). Enola, PA: Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. Retrieved from http://www.pcar.org/sites/default/files/resource-pdfs/choosing_prevention_strategies.pdf