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Systematic Review of Primary Prevention Strategies for Sexual Violence Perpetration

NCJ Number
Aggression and Violent Behavior Volume: 19 Issue: 4 Dated: July/August 2014 Pages: 346-362
Sarah DeGue; Linda A. Valle; Melissa K. Holt; Greta M. Massetti; Jennifer L. Matjasko; Andra Teten Tharp
Date Published
August 2014
17 pages
This paper presents the results of a systematic review of outcome evaluations of primary prevention strategies for sexual violence perpetration.
This review of outcome evaluations of primary prevention strategies for sexual violence perpetration found that the majority of the strategies in the evaluation literature are brief, psycho-educational programs focused on increasing knowledge or changing attitudes. The effectiveness of these programs at changing sexually violent behavior has not been evaluated using a rigorous evaluation design. Of the studies included in the current review, only three primary prevention strategies were identified as having demonstrated significant effects on sexually violent behavior in a rigorous outcome evaluation. The three strategies identified in the review are Safe Date, Shifting Boundaries, and funding associated with the 1994 U.S. Violence Against Women Act. The two primary goals of the review were to 1) describe and assess the breadth, quality and evolution of evaluation research on primary prevention strategies for sexual violence perpetration; and 2) to summarize the best available research evidence for use by practitioners in this area by categorizing programs with regard to their evidence of effectiveness on changing sexual violence behavioral outcomes using a rigorous study design. The review examined 140 outcome evaluations that met the criteria for inclusion in the study. The findings from the review suggest that the lack of effective prevention strategies for sexual violence may be due not only to a lack of rigorous evaluation to identify their effectiveness but also to the nature and quality of the approaches being developed and evaluated. Study limitations and implications for future research are discussed. Tables, figures, references, and appendix