By: Grace Fansler, MPH Prevention & Education Program Coordinator and Francesca Faccone, Program Intern
This summer the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) along with the National Sexual Violence Resource Program (NSVRC) launched a free online Prevention Education Boot Camp for prevention staff working to end sexual violence. The new 80-minute course is broken up into six modules, which leads the user through the process of planning, implementing, and evaluating prevention strategies. Two MCASA staff members reviewed this extremely interactive training; Francesca Faccone, our undergraduate intern majoring in Community Health, and Grace Fansler MPH, our Prevention and Education program coordinator. Both completed the course and shared their thoughts with us below.
What makes this training stand out?
GF: The Prevention Education Boot Camp thoroughly addresses the role of oppression in enabling sexual violence. Often oppression can be left out of the conversation around sexual violence; this is detrimental to prevention efforts. All forms of oppression are connected and all oppression is rooted in power and prejudice. Therefore, anti-oppression work is sexual violence prevention work because to eliminate the foundation on which sexual violence thrives, we must address the causes of oppression in our communities. This course provides an excellent overview of how power, oppression, biases, intersectionality, and privilege intersect and influence our prevention efforts.
How does this course help someone new to the field of sexual violence prevention?
FF: As a young professional, one of the biggest challenges I experienced entering the field of sexual violence prevention was feeling very passionate about prevention, but not knowing how to direct that passion toward change. PCAR’s Prevention Education Boot Camp was a fantastic place to start. The boot camp provides an in depth assessment of sexual violence pathology and the multitude of power-based and privilege-biased factors that contribute to it. The boot camp addresses the intersectionality of oppression and the ways in which sexual violence is primarily power-based, which I feel is an incredibly important place to base prevention efforts from. Additionally, the boot camp provided overviews of Sexual Violence in reference to the framework of the Socio-Ecological model and the Public Health model. This is especially useful in providing a more in depth scope of the problem, and the ways in which prevention must function on multiple levels.
How could aspects of this training be incorporated into prevention trainings in the field?
GF: This training promotes a holistic approach to reduce sexual violence. It thoroughly explains how the four parts of the holistic approach (Response, Awareness, Risk Reduction, and Prevention) must be addressed by programming in unison for the most effective results. The concept is taught is a creative and straightforward way, that I plan to utilize in our own Prevention trainings.
FF: The course emphasizes that prevention efforts must move past simply understanding consent and statistics, and towards perpetrator accountability and examining the ways in which relationships, communities and societies foster or suppress a culture of violence. Incorporating the interactive components in trainings in the field would help increase the visibility of sexual violence on many different socio-ecological levels. This would help those participating in trainings understand the deeper roots of sexual violence and the scope of the problem.