Preventing Sexual Violence
An Educational Toolkit for Health Care Professionals

What Is Sexual Violence?
How Do I Prevent It?
Overview of Web version



Can you think of a time when you felt uncomfortable answering a parent's questions about whether her young child's sexual behaviors were normal?

Have you ever suspected that a parent or teenaged patient was being abused by a partner but not known how to help her?

Have you ever noticed that a patient had negative attitudes toward women and been afraid of how to bring up your concern with his family?

Have you wished that you could go back and counsel a patient about personal safety before she was raped?

Would you have been able to handle these situations better if you had had more information, additional resources, or suggestions on communication?

Our values, attitudes, and stereotypes affect the way we approach sexual violence and similar topics in a clinical setting. Given these individual variations, this toolkit is intended to provide you with strategies and tools to begin to address sexual violence prevention in your practice and your community given the context of each family's unique views and history. It is important to note that this toolkit is not comprehensive nor is it intended to imply that you have to incorporate all suggestions and tools to successfully prevent sexual violence. The toolkit is an introduction to the topic and we hope that it gives you some ideas and tools to help you better discuss these issues in the office and community.

At the conclusion of this activity, the learner will be able to

  • Understand the term sexual violence, its many forms, and how it can affect the health of a child.
  • Understand that sexual violence is a widespread problem that affects all communities.
  • Understand the ecologic approach to sexual violence prevention.
  • Identify the risk and protective factors for sexual violence victimization and perpetration.
  • Utilize the social history as a gateway to introducing topics related to sexual violence prevention and to recognize risk factors for sexual violence in the patient’s home.
  • More confidently and comfortably discuss sexual violence-related risks with parents and patients.
  • Know how to recognize patients at high risk for sexual violence victimization or perpetration and refer for appropriate services.

Next: What Is Sexual Violence?