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Arizona Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Program (SVPEP)
Carol Hensell, Health Program Manager
Phone: (602) 542-7343
Printable brochure (PDF)
In 1996 an amendment was added to the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant (PHHSBG) that authorized funds for rape prevention and education. Under the Violence Against Woman Act of 2000 several changes became law. In 2001 the money moved from under the PHHSBG created a new grant program as a stand-alone categorical grant and designated the CDC’s National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) as having programmatic responsibility for the new RPEP Grant Program. In 2007 RPEP was renamed the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Program (SVPEP) to reflect its broader goals of ending all sexual violence. ADHS established the Sexual Violence Prevention Committee to develop a statewide plan. This committee was comprised of representatives from every corner of the state, and included state and county public health departments, social service agencies, law enforcement and public safety agencies, justice system, medical providers, faith communities, and youth organizations. The members firmly believed in the prevention of sexual violence and added insight into the development of the first state plan on primary prevention of sexual violence.
- Educational seminars
- Operation of hotlines
- Trainings for professionals
- Preparation of informational materials
- Education/training programs for students/campus personnel
- Education to increase knowledge about date rape drugs
- Other efforts to increase awareness of the facts about, or to help prevent sexual assault, including efforts to increase awareness in underserved communities, and individuals with disabilities
The National Healthy People 2020 guidelines include two targets for sexual violence prevention. These are to "reduce the annual rate of rape or attempted rape", and to "reduce sexual assault other than rape". Arizona's Healthy Arizona 2020 goals emphasize working collaboratively at the community level in order to improve the health of Arizona's citizens. This includes developing or improving partnerships that reduce the incidence of physical and sexual abuse and assault.
For the past 12 years, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Program, through community level cooperative interventions, has provided rape prevention education to students, professionals, and community members. These interventions have covered all racial and ethnic groups throughout Arizona – including Native American and Hispanic groups.
Within the framework of SVPEP is the flexibility for Contractors to implement the program in a manner that “fits” their neighborhood or community. ADHS respects the differences in each culture. By utilizing neighborhood or community non-profit agencies, the program works to ensure the recognition of the differences in family structure and in personal and family resources found in the different communities throughout the state, while addressing sexual violence prevention and education on the unique characteristics of the community in which they live.
However there are common threads between the contractors such as: the legal definition of sexual harassment in Arizona; the legal definition of rape in Arizona; healthy relationships; and strategies that reduce the risk of sexual coercion and violence. Currently Arizona has sexual violence prevention and education contractors in the following counties:
Additionally, Arizona's SVPEP also has a working relationship with the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. The UA Zuckerman College of Public Health responds to research requests from SVPEP and the ADHS; participates in SVPEP quarterly contractor meetings; and provides statistical, programmatic, educational, general and other related information that assists the contractors and the Program Manager in the management of the SVPEP and the contractors in the implementation and continuation of their sexual violence prevention and education programs.
Therefore, Arizona continues to actively promote the Sexual Violence Prevention message, which is essential to the goal of Healthy People 2020, and Healthy Arizona 2012. [Posted 10/12]