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Sexual Violence Prevention

What is Primary Prevention?

Primary prevention of sexual violence is about creating equality and ensuring safety and peace in all Ohio’s communities. It is about changing the social norms, values and belief systems that contribute to sexual violence. It is about putting energy, knowledge and expertise into stopping sexual violence before it happens.

Secondary and tertiary prevention are also essential. Secondary prevention addresses the increased risk and short-term consequences of sexual violence after it has occurred.  Tertiary prevention involves a long-term response by providing care and services after someone has been a victim of sexual violence in order to prevent further victimization.

Rape Prevention Education Program

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Rape Prevention Education Program (RPE) is committed to primary prevention of sexual violence, or stopping sexual violence before it happens, by promoting respectful and healthy relationships for all Ohioans.

RPE uses a four-Step public health approach that includes defining the problem; identifying risk and protective factors for sexual violence; developing and evaluating prevention strategies; and broadly disseminating effective strategies.   In addition, RPE prevention strategies focus on creating an infrastructure that connects state agencies, key partners and local communities in working together to eliminate sexual violence.

  • The RPE Program was established by the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994.

  • Ohio is one of 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 8 territories to receive RPE funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • The RPE program funds the state coalition, Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence and 14 local programs to address sexual violence prevention.

  • The RPE program works with state coalitions – Action Ohio, Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence and the Ohio Domestic Violence Network.

  • The RPE program partners like the Ohio Department of Education to help create safe and supportive learning environments for Ohio students. Through this collaboration, resources have been developed to assist administrators, teachers, and parents in addressing teen dating violence prevention (HB 19) and anti-harassment and intimidation prevention (HB 276) that are in the Ohio Revised Code, Sections 3313.666 and 3313.667

  • Riding Tandem on the Pathway to Prevention – a paper on the advantages and challenges of conjoining the issues of intimate partner violence and sexual violence prevention.


Be the One Ohio


Use the links below to learn more about Ohio's efforts to prevent sexual violence.

Pathways in Prevention: A Roadmap for Change, Ohio’s Plan for Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence Prevention - PDF report describes the Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence Prevention Consortium and their strategic plan for the prevention of sexual and intimate partner violence in Ohio.

Information Changing Campus Culture: preventing Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence and Stalking on Ohio’s campuses and Ohio's Safer Campus Guidebook is available on the Ohio Department of Higher Education.  

RPE Evaluation Project - Dr. Sandra Ortega is working with ODH Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Prevention Program (SADVPP) to evaluate the ODH Violence Against Women Act funded rape prevention education programs.

Sexual Violence Prevention Resources and Publications

Updated 10/03/2018