Stopping sexual violence before it begins
All people have the right to live free of the fear of sexual violence. To help ensure this freedom, the Center for Community Health Development (CCHD) at the Texas A&M School of Public Health has been awarded $467,505 to evaluate the State of Texas Rape Prevention and Education program (TxRPE).
Contracted by the Texas State Office of the Attorney General (OAG), the CCHD evaluation team includes E. Lisako J. McKyer, PhD, MPH, FAAHB, associate professor and deputy director of CCHD; Emily Martin, MS, research associate; and Angie Alaniz, administrative director.
The state-wide program funded through the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is carried out by 25 contracted organizations. The aim of the TxRPE is to end sexual violence through programming that utilizes a public health approach and effective prevention principles to reduce attitudes, behaviors and norms supportive of sexual violence. The target populations are 4th–12th grade youth, college students and adult influencers.
“Preventing sexual violence is the responsibility of entire communities, not merely individuals,” McKyer said. “It is critical that programs aimed at preventing sexual violence such as rape begin early and engage everyone, including males. Thus, the aim is to make primary prevention of sexual assaults a collective goal shared by all. When we’re successful, everyone—from babies to our aged—will benefit.”
Researchers will work with the OAG, the Department of State Health Services, the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) and the Primary Prevention Planning Committee in evaluating the program.
Activities will include developing and pilot testing data collection tools, evaluating training and technical assistance provided by TAASA, and collecting, analyzing, and reporting TxRPE contractor’s data. Additionally, the team will assess the state’s current evaluation capacity in order to create and implement a capacity-building plan that will include data interpretation workshops and ongoing technical assistance.