As we are half way through Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month and planning for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I have been thinking about the role of awareness in prevention efforts. In a recent post, The Social Butterfly blog asks
So, why, fellow health marketing and do-gooders do we settle with “awareness-building?” To be frank, every time I’m in a meeting and I hear the word awareness, my skin crawls. Awareness is great–but there’s a time and place for it. I’m aware of Ritz crackers, but I buy Wheat Thins. I’m aware of Powerade, but I buy Gatorade. There are times I might know about your cause–but I won’t donate. Other times I might know you need help, but I won’t volunteer. I know exercise is healthy, yet I’m still sitting here typing this blog post. There is a reason to these behaviors and decisions. There are motivations, barriers, incentives, costs, and more.
For sexual violence and domestic violence prevention, I think we need to build our prevention efforts upon our successful awareness efforts. 30 years ago, people did not know about domestic violence and saw rape as only being committed by strangers. Today, our awareness efforts have made significant changes, but we still have work to do to prevent rape and domestic violence.
What do you think?
(Click here to see the entire Social Butterfly blog on “Questions to Prevent Awareness Fever.”)