Preventing Sexual Violence in California: Changing Social Norms to Stop Sexual Violence BEFORE it Occurs

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is using an innovative approach to prevent rape and other forms of sexual violence across the state. With funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) program, California is working collaboratively with diverse stakeholders, including local rape crisis centers, Blue Shield of California Foundation, and the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) to stop sexual violence BEFORE it occurs. These collaborations have strengthened the state’s sexual violence prevention efforts which are framed in the public health perspective where norms and communities play an important role. Like California’s smoking campaign that aims to make smoking socially unacceptable and resulted in significant decreases in the
prevalence of smoking in the state, California’s RPE activities aim to make sexual violence intolerable across the state.

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