Prevention is more than outreach, a contrast made clear in a new rule published by the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). The rule updates regulations and provisions governing OVW grant programs. Among these updates is a definition for “prevention” that includes a distinction between “prevention” and “outreach.” Outreach certainly serves a purpose in letting people know about the services available to them, but outreach does not create the necessary cultural change needed to stop domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking from happening in the first place.
The definition from OVW reads as follows:
Section 90.2 (d)
The term “prevention” includes both primary and secondary prevention efforts. “Primary prevention” means strategies, programming, and activities to stop both first-time perpetration and first-time victimization. Primary prevention is stopping domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking before they occur. “Secondary prevention” is identifying risk factors or problems that may lead to future domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking and taking the necessary actions to eliminate the risk factors and the potential problems. “Prevention” is distinguished from “outreach,” which has the goal of informing victims and potential victims about available services.